Poets' Polley is heading to Florida State Dunbar standout to play football and basketball

January 20, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Tommy Polley, who has led Dunbar High's football and basketball teams to state titles each of the past two seasons, will announce at a 12:30 p.m. news conference Monday at Dunbar that he will attend Florida State University and continue to compete in both sports, according to his football coach Stanley Mitchell.

"It's Florida State," Mitchell said last night. "He wanted to go south and Florida State's style is one he likes a lot. The style of defense [4-4] is something he feels he really fits into. If he picks up some weight there is a very strong possibility that he might not be redshirted and he can play very well on the outside [linebacker]."

Polley, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound linebacker in football and forward in basketball, also had considered Florida and Maryland, but chose the same school where Charlie Ward starred in football and basketball.

Polley had expected a visit from Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden yesterday before Bowden experienced travel problems. Polley was visited by Florida State basketball coach Pat Kennedy during the football season. The school reportedly will allow, and is encouraging, Polley to play both sports.

"He's going to sign a football scholarship but it's already been cleared that he will play basketball," said Mitchell.

Polley spent last weekend at the Florida State campus and also had a chance to spend time with former Dunbar basketball teammate Marvis Thornton, who attends Tallahassee Community College.

For two consecutive seasons, Polley was chosen as The Sun's All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year in football and Maryland's Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press. Last fall he also was chosen Maryland's Gatorade Player of the Year.

In 1994, the Poets football team finished 12-0 and captured the state Class 2A title and in 1995 the Poets were 12-1 and won the Class 3A state title.

During the 1995 football season Polley returned two of six fumble recoveries for touchdowns, and had an 85-yard score off an interception return.

For his career, Polley had 58 sacks -- an average of 14.25 per season or 1.26 a game.

In basketball last year, Polley led the Poets in scoring (15.2 ppg) and rebounding (9.8) and also averaged 4.3 assists as Dunbar compiled a 25-1 record and won the state Class 2A title.

At the end of last season he was considered one of America's top 20 juniors by Hoop Scoop, and Reidel's Roundball Review rated him as the state's second-best underclassman.

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