Editor's Note: Mark Trible is going to cover recruiting among other subjects for Thekeyplay.com. Mark's a lifelong Tech fan, now sports editor of FauquierNow.com with a weekly column on TheSportsFanJournal.com. Follow his work by liking his Facebook page. -- Joe
It didn't take long for Briar Woods Coach Charlie Pierce to point to junior wide receiver Brandon Polk's most valuable asset.
"He ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at the U.S. Army underclassmen combine," Pierce said. "He's a very dynamic player, very explosive.
"He has the ability to turn any play into a big play."
Polk is one of Virginia Tech's targets in the 2015 recruiting class. Recruited by Aaron Moorehead, the 5-foot-9, 150-pound wideout has also received offers from Stanford and UVa. among others.
In fact, it was a trip to Palo Alto last summer that showed Polk's work ethic.
During a camp at Stanford, the receiver injured his foot as he ran routes.
"He didn't want to stop; he wanted to make an impression," Pierce explained. "The first week of August, we found out he had a stress fracture."
The injury kept Polk out of action until the season's fifth week. He finished with 40 receptions for 635 yards and eight total touchdowns.
His numbers aren't overly impressive but Polk's role in the Falcons' balanced offense certainly played into the final totals.
Briar Woods rushed for 2,700 yards and recent Penn State commit Trace McSorley led a 3,500 yard pass attack.
It amounted to a Group 5A state championship berth, where the Falcons fell to L.C. Bird, 35-28.
Polk primarily played slot receiver for Offensive Coordinator — and former Hokies kicker — Jared Develli.
"We had a 6-3, 205-pound wide receiver and a 6-3 receiver on the other side," Pierce said. "Then you have Brandon in the slot and he's moving all over the place.
"We run 20 to 30 different formations...You can't jam the guy. You either have to cover him with a rover or an outside linebacker and not many people can cover him in space."
Polk's integration into the offense included wide receiver screens and handoffs. With McSorley gone, Pierce expects his playmaker to touch the ball as often as possible.
He didn't rule out direct snaps or some time at the outside receiver position.
"There's no question he can play on the outside. You send him on a go route and not too many guys can run with him," the coach said.
At 150 pounds, it's clear Polk will need to bulk up in order to succeed at the Division I level. His physical attitude is something Pierce praised. If he can hit the weights in the offseason, his versatility could help him contribute right away in college ball.
Polk's speed makes him an attractive choice for kick returning duties at the next level.
Pierce thinks Virginia Tech's strong relationship with the program will help in his receiver's recruitment. Not only does Develli have obvious ties to the Hokies, Torrian Gray remains close to the Falcons.
Gray offered 2016 Briar Woods tight end Mark Birmingham a scholarship in late November.
"The kid first and foremost falls in love with the recruiting coach," Pierce said. "It's the relationship you have with that coach."
Frank Beamer's staff continuity — despite a couple tweaks in recent years — remains attractive to recruits and their families, according to Pierce.
While the successful high school coach thinks Tech has a great shot at landing Polk, he knows there's a long way to go before anything becomes clear.
"He hasn't really expressed to me exactly where he's leaning," Pierce said of his speedy wideout. "He's going to go some camps this summer and we'll see where he's at."
Polk's highlights are available on his Hudl page: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/o/2011841/highlights/84984385.