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Miami Hurricanes 2018 Player Profile: TE Brian Polendey

Could this sophomore be the underrated hero for Miami’s offense this season?

Miami v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Football can be such a fickle beast. As a player, you go in dreaming of being the a star, one of the go-to guys for your team; but, in reality, few players enter the college ranks as the big man on campus. You have to put the work in on your own time and build a relationship with the coaching staff and your teammates to earn the respect needed for both you and the team to be successful.

For sophomore TE Brian Polendey, getting a grasp on his position has been a trial by fire. With a big ‘ol 6’6”, 240 pound frame, the large Texan looks the part of a TE, but he’s still ironing the kinks out. Last year as a freshman, Polendey worked primarily on special teams and as a member of the practice squad. Closely resembling your traditional in-line tight end, no one would describe Polendey as the fleetest of foot when it comes to moving down the field, yet he does have redeemable qualities as a blocker at the position. Familiar with both pull and reach blocks that stymie a defensive lineman or get in the path of pursuit of a downhill linebacker, Polendey should be an asset as both a run and pass blocker.

Entering training camp, after being a non-factor last season combined with the arrival of two touted freshmen at his position, Polendey appeared to be the forgotten man in the TE room. Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan have been the hot topic surrounding the tight end position dating back to last season. The Diaper Dandies were expected to walk onto campus and insert themselves into the depth chart, quickly high-stepping over their peers towards the top of the heap. The case for either frosh to start became more of a reality when junior tight end Michael Irvin II went down with a significant knee injury, costing him three to four months of the 2018 season. With that injury, it’s a mere formality that the freshmen leap over Polendey.

Not so fast.

For all the criticism that Irvin II received, he was a good blocker at the position. In his absence, Polendey may have dibs on being the next in line for that distinguished title. If you watch his high school film, you don’t see as many wow plays as a receiving option. Instead, Polendey’s film is littered with the tight end mauling linebackers and defensive ends out of his stance, walking them backwards 10 yards from the original line of scrimmage. That type of edge in the blocking game may not have people buzzing about you on Twitter, but you definitely win over your teammates based on the effort and commitment to helping the team as a whole.

What’s in Store for 2018

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Don’t look for Polendey to become a frequent target in the passing game this year. He should see some routes off the line to keep defenses honest when he’s in the game. If the Canes’ coaching staff is true to their word of trying to add more multiple TE formations, then don’t be shocked to see Polendey working close to the line alongside one of the freshmen TEs.