Never Quit, Always Stay Determined: Tariq Polley Has Overcome Injuries And Helped Anchor Aggies’ Offensive Line

Tariq Polley, an outstanding offensive guard, was heading into his senior year and looked to provide much needed leadership and experience on the offensive line. Then, as it had the year before at the Hawai’i game, Polley fell victim to another injury. After a frustrating first half of the season for Polley, most of which has been viewed from the sideline, his head is still held high.”No matter how hard it gets, you just keep going,” Polley stated. “Never quit, always stay determined. Do what you need to do and make the best of it and never quit, ever.”This is the mind of a competitor. Perhaps, that is why he claims Dick Butkus, arguably one of the greatest defensive players in football history, as one of his favorite professional athletes. Alex Gerke, Utah State’s offensive line coach, sees the effort and passion Polley brings to the table.”He has done a great job by banging around every day. He comes to work, and the players all look up to him,” Gerke said. Although Polley has been injured for part of this season, he still has had the opportunity to help his teammates. “He helps those guys when they come off the field and let them know what is going on, or maybe if something is wrong with their technique or if they screw an assignment up. He is very solid,” Gerke explained. Intensity and the physical aspect of the game is often the favorite part for most collegiate football players. It is no different for Polley.”I just love the physicality of it, and how it pushes you. It gets you ready for life,” he said.If Polley couldn’t play football, he said hockey would be his next choice, because it is also physical. He is just one of those guys who loves to take on new and exciting challenges.Not only has football helped shape Polley as a great individual, but being part of a family within the United States Air Force has also made him who he is today. Polley was born in Lakenheath, England, a place he lived until the age of three when his parents moved him to Warner Robbins, Ga.Between growing up in Georgia and coming to Utah State, Polley played football at Hutchinson Junior College in Kansas.”Logan is a lot like Kansas,” Polley explained. “It is a small town, and everybody knows your business. So it is all good.”It isn’t just the small town atmosphere that Polley likes about Logan. He also mentioned he likes “the close family atmosphere.” “Everybody is happy. Everybody is smiling, and saying hi. They are not afraid to talk to a stranger, which is a big change for me. I just like the homey feel of it all,” Polley said.What does a man like Polley plan to do with his future? First he has aspirations of being like a Power Ranger. “I would be the black ranger,” he said. “They help out the world and try to make it safe, and they also have cool gadgets.”Polley is planning on being a power ranger in his own way. “I want to be a probation officer and then make my way up to a homicide detective,” said Polley, who is an interdisciplinary studies major. He is currently working with a probation officer, doing “ride alongs,” as part of his senior thesis internship, something that he plans on staying determined with and never quitting at his goal.-USU-

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