Cal Football

Bear Insider Video: Polk and Family Talk About Future at Cal and More

January 12, 2019

Following his early graduation from El Cerrito High School and impending enrollment at Cal, former Gaucho wide receiver Makai Polk and family sat down to talk about Polk’s future at Cal.

The 6-3/175 receiver was on the field non-stop in El Cerrito’s league-winning 9-4 season, playing receiver, defensive back and on special teams for the Gauchos. For the season, the versatile Polk had 30 receptions for 900 yards (an outstanding 30 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns on offense and an impressive eight interceptions and 52 tackles on defense as a senior.

Does he pride himself on his versatility?

“Yes, I do,” said Polk. “Actually, I wasn’t really recruited as just a receiver by Cal. I was actually given a scholarship as an athlete.”

Polk noted that either safety or cornerback fits his skillset at an athlete and would be fine with either if for some reason, he ends up on the defensive side of the ball.

The soft-spoken receiver spent some time in the LA area, playing at Dorsey High School for two seasons before returning to the Bay Area for his senior season. He noted playing in front of friends and family was something he’s looking forward to at Cal.

Polk’s family is more than happy with their son’s decision to play at Cal.

“Honestly, it’s a perfect fit,” said Polk’s father, Mark. “The things that they need to improve as a program (receivers/offense), education second to none -the number one public institution in the nation. It’s a win-win.”

“I think for me, it’s a good fit,” said Polk’s mother, Kahli  “We have a lot of legacy there. 

“My father actually was a student at Cal many years ago. I think he was there from ‘69 to ‘71. He played basketball there. His name was Harry Brown, Jr and he was from Richmond. He passed away. 

“My great aunt, Lottie Holmes, was one of the first African American women to attend school and graduate, maybe in 1948-ish.

“So when Cal offered Makai that opportunity, wow. Cal is very prestigious. It never crossed my mind, honestly. But I’m so thankful that the opportunity presented itself and it worked out for him.”

Polk was on the Dean’s list several times, including during one 4.0 semester. His academic interests include business management and finance.

Polk’s future at Cal will begin quickly, with a planned move-in this Thursday. What are some of the things he’s most looking forward to?

“Just to get a good feel for college, getting acclimated, getting prepared for the real world coming up and living on my own,” noted Polk.

Bear Insider was there at Acalanes for the Gaucho’s big win over Acalanes the day of Polk’s commitment on September 28.

At the time, Polk noted the primary reasons that made Cal the right fit for him, including the impact of head coach Justin Wilcox being involved in his recruitment:

“"The overall feeling of family and comfort," said Polk. "I feel like I can make an immediate impact when I get there and my hard work and dedication will drive me to push the team and make sure they're the best.

"I have a great relationship with every coach there, especially the head coach. You don't get that out of a lot of colleges -talking to the head coach. But he's a great head coach and he does his job very well."

Polk committed to Cal over Arizona, Tennessee and Oregon State. He was the second receiver and twentieth overall commitment in the class.

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