The Washington Times - August 18, 2008, 07:55PM

At this time last year, all the buzz among Maryland fans is just what would happen if Josh Portis got to play.

Everyone knows how that turned out. Portis was suspended for the year for cheating on a quiz, but has come back to earn some playing time out of a package that could take advantage of his athleticism.

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He’s not the No. 2 quarterback, but he will be on the field. There could be some disconnect among fans, but offensive coordinator James Franklin emphasized Chris Turner remains ahead of Portis on the depth chart.

Still, it’s a pretty big day for Portis, and here’s a snippet of some of his comments from today:

* “They told me I’m going to significantly play this year. It depends on how the packages go each week. Other than that, I’m pretty excited for Jordan. He’s been through a lot and hopefully he does a good job with it.”

* “I was laid-back with it. I wasn’t anxious or nervous or anything like that. I didn’t anticipate it. I didn’t have any anticipation of who was going to be the starter. Jordan got the job and I’m happy for him. Whatever I can do to help this team win, that’s what I’m going to do.”

* “I’m just happy to get on the field and show what I can do.”

Who will enjoy watching Portis zip all over the field? Probably defensive linemen like A.J. Francis and Dion Armstrong, who have been spun silly by the junior’s athletic moves and would like a little company among the many who have been stuck chasing him down throughout camp.

“They mess with me up in the locker room,” Portis said. “‘Portis, Portis, I hate you. Why are you making me run in practice.’ … But you don’t know who you’re going come against out there during the season.”

Right now, Maryland’s opponents can be assured they’ll come against Portis at some point.

Patrick Stevens