April 22, 2005
This week's featured athlete is football quarterback Quinton Porter, a native of Portland, Maine. He redshirted the 2004 season after starting the first 10 games in 2003. Porter injured his hand early in a game against West Virginia on Nov. 8, 2003, and missed the remainder of the season. In 21 games at Boston College, Porter has completed 154 of 270 passes for 1,846 yards and 14 touchdowns. The 6-foot-5 senior will face sophomore quarterback Matt Ryan in the annual Jay McGillis Spring Game on Saturday at 2 p.m. in Alumni Stadium.
Q: With two Saturday afternoon scrimmages under your belt, how do you feel the spring practices and scrimmages have gone thus far?
A: It's been pretty good up to this point. I feel like I've been developing as I should to have a good season. Nothing spectacular or outrageous has gone on, but I feel like I've played some solid ball. I'm just trying to get back into the rhythm and back into the feel of things.
Q: This spring, Will Blackmon practiced solely as a wide receiver. What's your evaluation of Blackmon's performance?
A: He's picking up really quickly, actually. It takes a while, usually, for some guys to learn the offense. But Will is firing on all cylinders right now. He's really showing his athleticism, and I know that's what the coaches really want. We've got some plays where it's just planned to get the ball to Will, and he'll just show you what he's got. He's done that, and it's been really good.
Q: The 2005 team loses longtime starting wide receivers Grant Adams and Joel Hazard to graduation. Talk about the slew of guys who could step up and contribute as wide receivers next season.
A: It's never easy losing guys like that. At the same time, we have certainly gained at the position because we have gotten so many more guys. With those guys, we have so much more depth at the position right now. Pretty much, any one of those guys can play and step on the field and make plays. They have proven that, so the outlook for receivers this year looks really good.
Q: Last season, freshmen Andre Callender, L.V. Whitworth and A.J. Brooks successfully contributed as running backs and filled the void left by school rushing leader Derrick Knight. What does each player bring to the table?
A: They each bring a little bit of different stuff. I'd say that A.J. is a really smooth runner and hits the hole really well. Andre can make people miss and make some moves. L.V. is more of a hit the hole hard and run right at you kind of guy. Those weapons are just really great to have. That's such a great position for our team to be in, to have three running backs who can step up and get some positive yardage for you.
Q: Your defensive unit features veteran defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, who registered a team-leading 11.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss last season. Watching from the sideline, what's it like to watch him tear through the trenches and attack the quarterback?
A: It's great to have Mathias on the team. He's a good friend of mine, as well. It's great to have him around, and he is such a good talent. Some people are going to remember him here for quite a while. So, I'm just glad to be a part of the team with him.
Q: What were you able to learn from watching Paul Peterson run the offense as the quarterback last season?
A: If anything, I'd just say the way that he was able to freelance. He played within the bounds of the offense. I was here with [Brian] St. Pierre who really ran things by the book. But, Paul comes in and all of a sudden he's just doing things and throwing routes that you would never dream of throwing in a certain play because Coach [Dana] Bible would not be happy. But, he made it work. So after watching him, I've learned how to just go out there and cut it loose and forget about the strict rigidity of an offense.
Q: Talk about last season - how did it feel to observe from the sideline? What did you learn? Were there any frustrating moments?
A: It was definitely frustrating at times. There were a lot of times when you want to be out there and you're thinking, `Hey, I could make that play.' Obviously, that's just the way it is. I'm a very competitive guy. There were some good things that I could take out of it. I was able to step back. I never got that redshirt year when I was a freshman, so I was never able to really get eased into it. It was good to be able to step back and take some stress off and just look at yourself in the football team from a step back. That was probably the best part.
Q: Having last played in a game on Nov. 8, 2003, against West Virginia in Alumni Stadium before exiting the game with an injury, how excited are you about getting back in a game situation and taking charge of the offense?
A: I can't wait, and I've just been ready for it since I got hurt in that game. I've been itching to get back out there. But, I'm just going to take it as it comes, and it will be here soon enough. I'm not going to worry about it. I'm just going to get myself ready.
Q: With just over four months remaining before the season opener at BYU (Sept. 3), where do you feel the team can improve most as it inches closer to the 2005 season?
A: I'd say right now we've got all the plays in, and everyone knows it. We got that all in during the spring. But I think we just need to get more close as a team. We lost a lot of big, influential guys, like captains and that sort of thing last year. We need to come together as a team and mold. That's just something we're going to have to show before we get out there in Utah.
Q: Next year's schedule features the likes of BYU, Florida State (Sept. 17), a third-consecutive showdown with Wake Forest (Oct. 15) and former Big East foe Virginia Tech (Oct. 27). When you look at the 2005 schedule, is there any team that you can't wait to get on the field and face?
A: Well, definitely Florida State is going to be an exciting game. As far as individual players, I wouldn't say any have really stuck out for me. But looking at some of those teams down there, going down to [Clemson's] Death Valley and things like that, I know there are going to be some exciting games. I just can't wait for it.
Q: Having known Boston College was going to move to the ACC since midway through the 2003 campaign (your junior season), what does it mean to you to finally make that transition?
A: I'm just really happy to be a part of it. I'm glad that I caught this beginning part of it and can set the school off in the ACC. Growing up, I always wanted to play in the ACC. I don't think I was ever offered by any teams in the ACC. So, it's cool to finally be in it.
Q: What are your plans for this summer?
A: I'm going to be here all summer. I'm taking four MBA classes during the summer. I want to squeeze them in so that I can graduate. I'm starting a class on May 16 and plan to get my MBA with a concentration in finance.