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Athlete of the Week: Polley ’14 pulls down two interceptions against URI

The defensive back brought down 11 passes last year, a conference-leading accomplishment

Defensive back Emory Polley ’14 played a key role in the football team’s 31-14 Saturday victory over the University of Rhode Island, helping the team retain the Governor’s Cup for the third consecutive year. Polley was the defense line’s main man with two key interceptions, in addition to seven tackles and six solo hits. Polley has been a linchpin player on the rise since last season.

Last year, Polley led the Ivy League in passes defended, knocking down 11. He intercepted four passes, the second most in the conference, and made 32 tackles for the season.

This summer Polley earned a spot on the watch list for the 2013 College Football Performance Defensive Back Award, which highlights the top 36 returning performers vying for the top individual honor.

For his versatility and success in anchoring the Bruno defense, Polley has been chosen as The Herald’s Athlete of the Week.


The Herald: When did you first start playing football?

Polley: I first started when I was 7. It was flag football, and then I played a year of tackle. I was an offensive tackle, and we lost a lot of our games by over 60 points. It was just really fun for me, and I like hitting people. I didn’t want to originally play, but my dad made me, and I have loved it ever since.


Why did you choose Brown?

It was a combination of being able to take the classes I wanted, and I really like the atmosphere here. … It has a real hometown feel for me.


What are you concentrating in and why?

American history — it was the most interesting thing to me. I study adolescence and morality from the 1920s to now. So basically how teenagers grow up in our society.


What do you find is the hardest thing balancing academics and Division I athletics?

Definitely the time management. Right now I’m taking five classes and doing football. It’s tough making yourself get up and go to class and study and perform well on the football field. But if you want to be good you have to do all these things. It’s not easy, but everyone knows that.


What are your goals for this year on and off the field?

On the field I want an Ivy League championship. Off the field, I want to make sure I do well and get a lot out of all my classes.


What are your plans for next year?

I don’t have any set plans yet. I’m applying to a lot of different places mostly in the financial space, but aside from applying I’m going to try to play football still and see how that goes. And then I can play potentially overseas as well.


Do you have any role models or inspirations?

My biggest role model is definitely my high school football coach. His name is Jeff Rotsky — he coached at my high school, and he also worked for Morgan Stanley. He worked on Wall Street, made a ton of money but then came back and gave back to the community by being a football coach, and that’s probably what I would like to do.


What are your pre-game rituals and your favorite way to celebrate after a win?

I just make sure when I get to the stadium — we have about two hours — I do a little 15-minute warm-up on my own to just warm up my legs. My best way to celebrate is honestly to just hang out with my teammates. I really enjoy seeing all the parents that come to watch us because it means a lot to me that they want to come and see us do well.  I like enjoying the moments with my teammates because I was just out there with them.



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