MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Brian Polendey’s sixth season of college football will be played for his third college team. After three years at Miami and two at Colorado State, his college travels have come to a close at West Virginia. Change has been a constant for Polendey dating back to his younger days.
“My childhood prepared me for all the moves I have had to make. My family has been very supportive, honestly. So it hasn’t been that bad,” Polendey said. “But growing up, my dad would change jobs a lot. He was trying to better my family’s position. Moving is nothing new to me and I actually kind of enjoy it because I go to new places and meet new people.”
Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 252 pounds, football was, surprisingly, not Polendey’s first sport he competed in at the youth levels.
“I played baseball all the way until high school. My mom was the one, when we moved again to the Seattle area, she was like, ‘Let’s get him into football and see how he does so he can make some friends’. I started playing football and really liked it. Believe it or not, I was done with baseball. I was just going to play football. My dad was like, ‘You have the frame for a tight end. Do you want to play that?
“We were more of a play action, run-heavy offense [in high school]. That’s where I got most of my development was run blocking. All of my catches would be off of play action. When I got to college, it was more dropback game and quick game. That’s the part of my game that really had to develop. I have played with and behind a lot of good tight ends in my career and some NFL draft picks. It is definitely part of my game that has had to slowly progress over the years.”
Tight end is a position of need for the Mountaineers following the transfer departures of Charles Finley and T.J. Banks. Mike O’Laughlin will return as the starter but he is not competing in spring drills due to offseason surgery. The opportunity to play a major role in an offense wasn’t necessarily the main reason Polendey came to Morgantown. He says WVU stood out for one particular reason.
“I would say this biggest thing is all the recovery technology we have here. I have been at schools and places where we have cold tubs and all that good stuff. But here with Coach Mike [Joseph] in the weight room, it is a whole new emphasis on getting your body right and ready to play everyday instead of having to fight through fatigue and always having something hurting. He is more geared towards getting your body right everyday so you can perform to the best of your ability.”
At Miami and Colorado State, Polendey was utilized primarily as a run blocker and had limited opportunities catch the football. He has just one pass reception in his career.
“I have been in systems probably the last three seasons that were going to keep me in the same role I have been in. Here I saw an opportunity to become more of a complete player. I think that is what I was looking for more than anything when they recruited me to come here.
“I just want to be more of a balanced player to prove that I can do whatever I need to do.”