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Sunday, Sep 23, 2018
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Concussions force USF lineman Grant Polk to give up football

USF junior OL Grant Polk has left the team after suffering his second concussion in less than a calendar year, his father said Tuesday evening.

A Virginia transfer who appeared in three games last season, Polk sustained his first concussion the first practice after last year's season opener against San Jose State, and his second last month in the early stage of spring practice. He didn't suit up for Saturday's spring game.

"The second one was pretty bad," Mike Polk said. "We had to drive him home. He kept repeating himself and that's why we were a little worried. He was in a fight in that scrimmage and he didn't remember."

Polk, who graded the highest of any Bulls offensive lineman in that initial spring scrimmage, was projected to contend for no worse than a backup tackle spot. With 2017 starting LT Eric Mayes rehabbing from minor knee surgery, he had a prime opportunity for first-team reps before being hurt.

"He's disappointed," Mike Polk said. "He's really been working hard and he was trying to compete for a spot this year."

A first-team Class 7A all-state pick as a senior at Punta Gorda's Charlotte High, Polk initially signed with Virginia, where he enrolled in January 2015. Mike Polk said his son suffered two broken noses in 10 days, and left the program after one year.

He'll remain on scholarship at USF, where he's slated to graduate this fall with a communications degree.

"We don't know how many concussions he's had," Mike Polk said.

"He played four years of high school and almost four years of college. It just got to that point to where it wasn't worth the long-terms risks."

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