Portis is an athletically gifted linebacker

One of the best playmaking linebackers in the California Juco ranks this year is San Mateo's Andre Portis (6-3, 238) and he's ready for a big season this year. He had several offers out of high school, but didn't qualify and now that he's got his academics in order, Portis said he can hardly wait to get on with his football career.

"I signed with Colorado State out of high school, but you know that story – I didn't qualify," Portis told JCFootball.com. "As a junior in high school, my mom was living in Ohio so that's where I played my junior year and I had a really good season and I got offered by UAB and Miami, Ohio.

"Then, my uncle brought me out to play out in California where he was coaching (Fairfield High School) and I got lots of offers from schools like Utah, Arizona, Arizona State and Marshall. I had a few and that's when I chose to go to Colorado State."

After he failed to qualify, Portis headed back to Ohio and had planned to play at a JC out there, but his uncle had different plans.

"He went up to City College (of San Francisco) and San Mateo and checked both of them out and he said that San Mateo would be a better fit for me," Portis said. "He like City College, but he thought with me living in the city I could get into more trouble so we decided on San Mateo where I could just concentrate on school and football.

"I met with the coaches and saw what they were about and I agreed so I enrolled here."

Portis was basically plugged in as a starter the second he set foot on San Mateo's campus, but it was a tough transition for him.

"I got here late so I didn't know the playbook that well," Portis admitted. "I knew the basic plays and stuff like that, but I didn't know the defense backwards and forwards.

"That's the biggest thing I'm working on this year. I want to know everything that is going on out there so I can just react and attack instead of thinking about things and I'm miles ahead of where I was last year."

His defensive coordinator, Tim Tulloch, is excited to see the results of his hard work.

"He's a hybrid guy," Tulloch said in an earlier interview. "He can play outside linebacker or defensive end – it basically depends on where the team he signs with eventually wants him to play.

"He plays the same position as Joey Porter and Shawne Merriman play. He also plays with their style too."

On the recruiting front, Portis is seeing interest pick up as schools such as California, San Jose State, Arkansas State, Bowling Green and Arizona have been by the school to see him.

"I've had a lot of schools stop by and meet me and they said they like me a lot and are evaluating me and what I can do," Portis said. "I'm open to everyone and I'm just going to work hard to get better and to get done in December so I can be wherever I end up in time for spring ball."

Portis plans to major in Criminal Justice and will have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

Andre Portis Scout Profile

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