I got a chance to sit down and talk with Josh Portis, former quarterback of California PA and now NFL Draft prospect to discuss his overall career at quarterback and how draft process has been so far.
To give you a quick background, Josh was a highly touted recruit out of high school and was at Florida before eventually transfering due to cheating infraction inat the school to the University of Maryland. He was a rotational, option quarterback there, but upon graduation, he went to graduate school to California PA and played football there for two years. Both years he lead a high powered passing attack and made the playoffs both years at quarterback with the school.
Interview on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/Airric1491?feature=mhum#p/a/u/1/F3iq7vfJbpg
First off, when I asked about his transfer from Florida and Maryland, he spoke about how he was “immature and impatient” at Florida and that he was very somewhat frustrated with Maryland and his lack of playing time. When he did finally end up at California PA, his goal was to “try and help a team win a national championship” which he got somewhat close to doing twice.
He said the offense really helped him develop as a passer because he said the offense “limted my options to run” and he “didn’t have to use athleticism much”. He was a very productive passer and worked with guys like Terrence Moore at receiver in one of D2’s best offenses.
While at the Texas Vs. Nation game practices, he said that he felt he was “improving everyday” and the final, indoor practice was “one of my best practices of the week”, as I’d imagine it was for all quarterbacks after dealing with significant wind in the previous days.
I also asked about his arrest for using a stolen credit card at a mall in Pittsburgh. He said that he “didn’t know the card was stolen” and was “doing a favor for a friend, a kid I mentored.” He understands that NFL teams will be out to find out if his transfers and arrests have anything, or everything, to do with his character moving forward.
When I asked about his thoughts on possibly changing positions at the NFL level to possibly receiver, he said that “right now, I’ve been groomed to play the quarterback position”, but did seem at least slightly aware that he may have to change positions to make it.
Finally, he said that he’s been training very hard for the NFL Combine, and said he could run someplace in the 4.45 range, which would really speak to his athleticism as an athlete at quarterback.
Overall, Josh is still a fringe draftable quarterback and still in the 20s in our rankigns. But he’ll have a chance to impress at the Combine and will have to show that his off the field issues are not a concern moving forward.