The “Future” Leaves Now

Josh Portis Transfers

Josh Portis, once arguably the most sought after quarterback in the nation 4 years ago, has decided to leave the University of Maryland.

The Portis story is a cautionary tale of what it means to be a ‘can’t miss’ prospect. Josh was highly recruited and seemed destined to be with Urban Meyer who was head coach at Utah back then. Maryland was a close second. The Terps seemed to move into first place as Meyer moved into the head caching position at Florida. Florida already had a solid starting quarterback in Chris Leak.

Urban Meyer is a good salesperson. Portis chose Florida.

He played sparingly as a freshman. Then Tim Tebow came to Florida as well. Tebow and Leak were to split time and Portis was just to split. Josh came to Maryland. Tebow and Leak won the national championship, Josh Portis sat out the year as required by NCAA rules for a transfer.

It was said that his mother got involved at Florida, he was unhappy with the playing time, thought he could do more. The opportunity was not there, his future was in Terpland.

For 2007, Josh was to be a sports sophmore at Maryland and most probably the starting quarterback. Back in the spring game for that season he looked great. A young Randall Cunnigham or Vince Young. But things got dicey in summer school.

In a sociology class, on a test, the temptation to cheat reared its ugly head. He got caught. No football in 2007.

The funny thing is that he walked across the stage in December 2008. He is still one class short of graduation, but close enough to walk across the stage with the December 2008 graduating class. Pretty impressive for a transfer who ran into academic trouble.

In the spring of 2008, he looked fantastic in the Red White game. A few too many tunovers, maybe not running the plays as called, but what a talent. The funny thing is that while he was on super secret probation, Chris Turner became the fan favorite.

In what became a bit of a sore point around College park, Ralph selected Jordan Steffy as the quarterback. A kid that Ralph said was like a son to him. Josh Portis was third on the depth chart.

From savior of the program to third. Then Steffy got hurt. Chris Turner started the 2nd game of the season. And every game after that. Josh got some reps as a running quarterback. Rumor had it that he did not know the playbook. He did not get on the field for the last few games. The writing was on the wall, no one I knew expected him back.

I wish him well and hope he gets a good shot at a Division II program. It would have been nice to see him in the backfield as a wing back or Wildcat qb. Even a wide receiver or punt returner. Josh Portis is a first rate talent but the breaks went the other way.

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