C.J. Pollard is a team first kind of guy. He is willing to play anywhere his team needs him to play. He will sell out on special teams and is never seen dogging it on the football field. Pollard is well aware of the history of his high school and plays respect to Serra legends of the past every time he suits up.
"I'll play corner or safety, whatever the coach and team needs from me, that's what I'm gonna do," Pollard stated. "When I put on the Serra jersey, I know what I'm representing. I know what I'm playing for. I am blessed that I was able to play with and study Glen Ihenacho, Adoree Jackson, and Stanley Norman. Those guys have taught me a lot, and then all the legends I grew up watching like Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, I really can't ask for better mentors. I know that at Serra, nothing is given, so I go 100% during every rep. Whatever I need to do, whether it's fly down the field on kickoff or punt and smack somebody, I'll do it. The most important thing for me is being a team guy."
Pollard has a lot of talent for a guy that spent a few minutes raving about his love for making plays on special teams. He is an attention to details kind of guy, which is rare for such a young player. At 6-1 190, Pollard has a great frame to play cornerback or free safety. His length and physicality are impressive and while he isn't the fastest guy on the field, his make up speed is impressive.
"I love playing physical," Pollard claimed. "Most defensive backs and wide receivers don't want to play nasty, I do. I love jamming receivers and pushing them around. A lot of times they quit. I have worked a lot on my speed this offseason, running track and doing drills in my free time. I am pretty fast. I love hawking receivers down, I never quit on the field and a lot of times I'm able to catch a receiver from behind."
Pollard is an early four-star prospect and the 17th ranked cornerback in the class of 2016. He has the potential to climb that ladder and end up as one of the elite defensive backs on the West Coast. This spring colleges have begun to notice Pollard and he has picked up a few early offers.
"It started in March when Utah offered me," Pollard explained. "I love the Utes, they are a Pac-12 school with some new facilities and a good number of DBs in the league. Coach Shah is a good dude and he is easy to communicate with. Wisconsin came in a little bit after Utah and offered me. That was a big one. That is a Big10 factory. They are always in contention for the Rose Bowl and they seem to be ranked high all the time. My most recent offer was San Jose State. Coach Williams saw me at a camp and was really impressed by what I was doing and he offered on the spot."
"It's huge for me to get these offers. It's truly a blessing. I am interested in you if you show me the interest and love. I think each of these schools offer me something and I want to visit their campuses at some point. We'll see what happens."
It's a safe bet that Pollard's offer sheet grows significantly over the next year and a half. There are a few schools that have been showing Pollard some interest that are schools of major interest for the Serra athlete.
"I'm from LA," Pollard said. "I was born and raised watching Reggie Bush and USC dominant football. USC has always been a school I've watched and love. They are checking me out and seem pretty interested. UCLA is another school I really like. The new uniforms are awesome and the coaching staff is great. They are on the rise and I think everyone knows it. Coach Martin and I have a good relationship and he seems like he is a really good DB coach."
"You know, I am open to anywhere. I really like USC and UCLA, but an offer from them wouldn't seal the deal by any means. I want a program that has a family atmosphere. That is really important to me. Teammates that are like brothers and a coaching staff that is really close to the players. I want top notch facilities too. The city has to feel right to me, I don't want anywhere too cold. I'm from Southern California, me and the cold don't really work."
Pollard is the full package. He is a talented athlete with good upside. He is a 3.0 student that knows the importance of academics. And lastly, he possesses the intangible of putting his team first and is willing to do whatever the coach needs him to do.