Man Man's dog mentality motivates him to be an immediate impact player at SMU

Share or Save for Later

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Save to Favorites

For Duncanville safety Tyren Polley Jr., everything about committing to SMU to play football just felt… genuine.

“(SMU) showed real, genuine love to me and my family,” Polley said. “When I would take my visits, they just made me feel like I’m part of their family like they’ve known me my whole life.” 

Polley wasn’t without options. In fact, he had dozens of them, including from the likes of Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, LSU, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Pitt, TCU and UCF.

One of the big draws to The Hilltop was SMU’s move to the ACC.

“Since we moved conferences to the ACC I'm excited to see how we'll do in a new conference,” Polley said. “I feel like we're gonna be great and be able to play for a national championship.” 

With his commitment out of the way, Polley, who is ranked as the No. 2 safety and No. 58 player in Texas on, is doing what he can to put himself in the best position possible to play as soon as he steps on campus. He knows he’ll have his work cut out for him given what SMU should have in the defensive back room when he gets there.

“It motivated me hard, because now I’ve got a chip on my shoulder so I can’t play around,” Polley said. “I’ve gotta go in there and bring my A game if I want to get on the field my freshman year.” 

Polley definitely has the talent to get on the field in Year 1. 

During his junior season in which he helped lead the Panthers to their second straight state title, Polley averaged over six tackles per game, including 51 solo stops. He also snagged three interceptions and knows that his playmaking style will transition seamlessly at SMU. 

“I fit really well into their scheme, I’m explosive, I can tackle and I can run from hash to hash on the field,” Polley said.

Don’t mistake Polley’s confidence for cockiness. Polley understands the road ahead of him. The path to early playing time won’t be easy. But he’s gotten to this point, as one of the top DBs in Texas, in part to his dogged mentality.

“I’ve got a different mindset and a different mentality,” Polley said. “Growing up and playing football, I only played flag football for one year. After that, it was straight hitting and I was playing against older kids. I’ve always had that killer mentality and that dog mentality and that’s what sets me apart from everyone else.” 

His mentality is something that he’s always had and he doesn’t just apply it to football. His motivation for his work ethic comes from his family and wanting to succeed for them. 

“It’s just something that grew in me, honestly, I just had to have it,” Polley said. “To be in the position that I’m in now, I just had to have that dog mentality. Because if you don’t, you won’t make it to the next level. It’s an eat or get eaten world.” 

The same can be said for the world of recruiting. SMU has his commitment now, but that hasn’t stopped others from trying to flip him, including Oklahoma, LSU, Oregon and Arkansas.


This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.

Sign In
Don't Miss Any Exclusive Coverage!

We've been the Bible of Texas football fans for 64 years. By joining the DCTF family you'll gain access to all of our exclusive content and have our magazines mailed to you!