Remember Josh Portis? Of course you do. A highly touted recruit coming out of high school, Portis transferred to Maryland after one year at Florida. Although he spent three years in College Park, he was only able to play during one of them – sitting out one due to NCAA transfer rules, and another one after being caught cheating on an exam. During that one season, Portis was Chris Turner’s backup and was mostly used as an option quarterback, finishing with 31 carries for 186 yards and a touchdown (oh, and one completion for 4 yards).
Before the 2009 season, he transferred to a Division II school, California University (Pa.). Last year, he passed for a school record 3,421 yards with 36 touchdowns against 9 interceptions and ran for 449 yards with one touchdown while leading the Vulcans to their fifth-consecutive PSAC West Title. Cal U also advanced to their third straight NCAA Semifinals.
Portis has cooled down a bit this season. Through four games (all wins for the 4th/6th ranked Vulcans), the cousin of Clinton has 814 yards through the air with 9 touchdowns against 4 interceptions and has run for 101 yards. Portis’ best game came against Saginaw Valley, who was ranked 11th at the time, when he threw for 203 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions and ran for 41 yards in a 42-41 overtime victory.
It seems like the Vulcan coaches have been using Portis as more of a passing quarterback, which is interesting considering his former role at Maryland. It’s hard to argue against it considering the success he’s had at this level, and he seems to have the tools for any kind of offense.
He looks like one of the few D-II guys who will get a shot at the next level, and I’m sure NFL Scouts have been taking notice. We’ll see if he gets invited to the combine.