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Portley is a Very Happy Blue Raider

February 1, 2001 · MT Media Relations
Preston Portley had a world of options coming out of Fort Scott Community College in Kansas City, Kansas a few months ago.

At a strapping 6-4, 330 pounds and having just been named All-Conference honorable mention as an offensive lineman, it was easy to see why.

But with the likes of Oklahoma State, Minnesota and LSU knocking on his door, Portley said the decision to come to Middle Tennessee wasnt all that difficult.

"I just felt the coaches werent feeding me a line about their program," he explained. "Theyve all got good attitudes and I just like the way they run things. They are friendly when its time to be friendly and they get down to business when its time to get down to business."

As one of many early enrollees at MT, Portley is up running with his new team at 6 a.m. every morning and lifting weights with them in the afternoon. When the season begins this fall, he will be one-step ahead in the classroom just as he will be on the football field. No slouch when it comes to the books, Portley managed to graduate from his junior college in just three semesters.

"I really feel that being here early is an advantage for me," he said. "Im getting used to the workouts and getting used to my teammates and I think all of that will make me better once the season roles around."

Just by looking at his bio sheet and one can tell the amount of potential the youngster possesses. He only played one year of organized football coming out of Wyandotte High School in Kansas City. If his early enrollment at MT doesnt prove that hes ready to step in and make and immediate contribution, his current attitude certainly does.

"I think the record last year proves that this team is coming along fast," he said. "And I plan on competing for a starting spot once the season gets here. This program is moving along at a great pace. I think their 6-5 record proves that after just their second year of being a Division I-A football program. I plan on coming in and giving it all Ive got. I think this team can be conference champs and beat whoever else we have too."

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