The same day that I link to an SBNation article lamenting the decline of interesting characters on the D.C. sports scene, the Redskins sign a running back to the practice squad who was formerly a collegiate
cheerleader stuntman and who turns up in the AP Photo vaults riding a bike with kids at Green Bay Packers camp. Does that qualify as irony? I’m never sure anymore.
Anyhow, yes, Quinn Porter was a collegiate stuntman, as Dan Steinberg has excellent detailed. And he was in training camp with the Packers where they ride bikes with kids, a tradition that Vonnie Holliday explained to me this past summer. But that didn’t tell me much about him or how he got here.
He went to school at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, located, he says, “like two seconds from Alabama University.” While there, he played “running back, returner, slot … anywhere.”
He caught on as an undrafted free agent with the Packers and spent the preseason there, carrying the ball 21 times for 77 yards during his three games. “Unfortunately, I got hurt,” he explains. “I took a month off for rehab, and passed my physical at Dallas, passed my physical here this morning, so … I’m here! I’m a Redskin! I’m ready to ball.”
While he’s been rehabbing, Porters says, he’s been champing at the bit to get back into the game. “I’ve been stressing sitting in front of the TV every Sunday and Monday, watching Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football. I’m like, ‘Ah, I played with these guys!’ all day. So being given a chance is truly a blessing and I’m about to take full advantage of it.”
And when he says “full advantage,” that should be taken to indicate a genuinely sky-high confidence level, something that he demonstrates even further when I ask him what running backs his game is similar to.
“I’m like an Emmitt-slash-Jim,” he says. “I could be a Barry, or a Reggie.”
I’m assuming here that he means Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Jim Brown, and Barry Sanders, and college standout and NFL all-around-weapon Reggie Bush (although I guess technically he might’ve been referring to some pals from his college days). This level of confidence coming from a guy who just appeared in the locker room halfway through week 5 of the season surprises me, and I say as much — or, at least, I say something like, “Um, wow.”
He laughs. I should probably interject here that he didn’t make that claim with a ton of swagger or with a chip on his shoulder, more as a young player with all the optimism in the world. But still.
“Nah,” he says, “I got very high expectations for myself. I’ve set high goals, and I know what I’m capable of. As soon as I get an opportunity to prove myself to Coach Shanahan and these guys — the vets — I’m gonna put on a show for ’em.”
You can’t fault the guy for his enthusiasm, that’s for sure. “It feels good, man,” he says. “It feels good that Washington was able to scout me, and I’m still waiting, I’m just excited.”
(For the record, Porter’s arrival marks the end of the Javarris James Era in Redskins history, as James was reportedly signed to the Colts active roster.)
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