Briar Woods WR Brandon Polk eyes health in 2014 (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Briar Woods’ loss in the Virginia 5A state championship still weighs heavily on wideout Brandon Polk. He scored the game’s first touchdown on a 22-yard punt return in the first quarter, but a hip contusion turned him into a spectator for the entire second half as the Falcons suffered their first state championship loss in school history.

Last season was marred by injury for Polk, who missed the first four games while recovering from a broken foot over the summer. He gained over 800 yards and scored eight touchdowns in 11 games for the 13-2 Falcons, but he wasn’t the same electric player who scored 12 touchdowns as a sophomore.


In January, he headed south to showcase the skills that have several recruiting sites regarding him as the the best or second-best wideout prospect in the state. He competed in the U.S. Army All-American Combine in San Antonio and posted a 4.36 hand-timed 40-yard dash, and played well against some of the top corners in the nation.

“I felt like I was at full strength at the Army Combine,” Polk said. “I showed what I could do on the field and I think I did a great job.”

His showing at the combine has earned him Penn State and Pittsburgh offers to increase his offer sheet to 10. Stanford, Maryland, Virginia and Virginia Tech have also extended offers to the speedy wideout.

“Those are two great schools,” Polk said of Penn State and Pittsburgh. “Penn State is getting the Vanderbilt coaches who could put in the spread, and that could be a really good advantage for me.”

Polk said he plans to visit Penn State this weekend for its junior day, and he wants to take a look at Pittsburgh over the summer. He’s already taken unofficial visits to Maryland, Stanford, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Former teammate Cam Serigne attends Wake Forest, and Alex Carter, who is being heralded as one of the top cornerbacks in the nation, attends Stanford.

He plans to decide on a school around the kickoff for football season in August.

“It was a great campus and there was lot of space, but there wasn’t too many people,” Polk said of his visit to Stanford. “I saw Alex out there and that would be great to be with him because that’s literally going up against the best. I see him going to the league and facing him in practice would be just like facing an NFL type corner.”

Polk, the 100-meter and 200-meter Virginia Group AA champion, said he’s undecided if he will run track this spring because he wants to add 15 pounds to his frame by the start of the season to be a solid 170. But size wasn’t an issue for the 5-foot-9 receiver at the U.S. Army Combine, as none of the defensive backs could jam him off the line thanks to his superior quickness.

Polk and junior Tristan Carter are the top two returning receptions leaders at 40 and 34, respectively. And with Melvin Holland Jr. signing with Minnesota after a record-setting senior campaign, Polk becomes the marquee receiver in the Falcons’ offense.

“I just want to prove myself because last season I played alright, but I didn’t have the season I should have had,” Polk said. “Now I’m just going to go out there and do my best, and I really want to work on going up and getting the ball.”


Dave Mercarini left his head coaching position at Quince Orchard to move onto Urbana after collecting a 107-18 record over 10 seasons. Mercarini’s squads posted 10-win seasons eight times during his tenure and won a Maryland 4A state title in 2007.


— Meet Georgetown Day’s Julia Ernst, who serves as the wrestling team’s captain and has matched a school record with 103 wins. Saturday, she will look to break that record and win her third straight D.C. title at Gonzaga.

— The Eleanor Roosevelt boys’ basketball team is one of the top three-point shooting teams in the area at 7.1 makes per game; senior Andre Fox leads the team with 71 three-pointers.

— Here’s the Week 8 All-Met Watch for girls’ and boys’ hoops.


No. 8 DeMatha holds Melo Trimble and third-ranked O’Connell to nine second-half points as the Stags smother the Knights for a 51-33 win.

The Stags' stingy defense held the third ranked Knights to only nine second half points. (Video by Andrew Kloc for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)


Snow! With the cancellation by most counties of school today, please head to our postponements page to find out when your team’s game has been moved to throughout the day.