The Washington Times - August 17, 2009, 11:05AM

Went up and back to Charlottesville yesterday, and didn’t have time to get into some tidbits from my half-hour chat with Josh Portis earlier in the month.

Well, until now.


Portis mentioned if he could get through a Maryland education, he could get through grad school at Division II California (Pa.). And that was worth asking for an elaboration on his academic experience at Maryland —- one that featured a year-long suspension for cheating on a quiz.

“It’s an Ivy League school, really,” Portis said. “It’s definitely a challenge and you’re definitely going to have to come to class and pay attention and take notes. It’s no slack. There’s no nothing. It definitely gives you a chance to grow up as a person and you’re definitely not being babysat over there. You have to handle your own business.

“When I was at Florida, they babysat everybody. When I got to Maryland, I was like ‘Whoa, nobody’s telling me this, nobody’s telling me that. I have to find out on my own.’ You have to find out through the grapevine, which is something different. At Florida, they have people coming after you and telling you to do this and that.”

On the surface, that “sit-out year” (as Portis describes it) would seem like it was the biggest challenge of his three years in College Park.

Portis disagrees.

“I think all three were,” Portis said. “I think all three years were tough because I’m such a competitive person. I love to play the game of football. im dedicated to it. I work hard every time I go out. I push myself to be the best and I just found it to be a difficult time.”

—- Patrick Stevens