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Ball is in Porter's hands

O'Brien names him starter at QB for BC

Quinton Porter, a fifth-year senior from Portland, Maine, was installed as Boston College's starting quarterback for the second time when coach Tom O'Brien yesterday tapped him for the Eagles' inaugural campaign in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Porter was BC's starter two years ago, when he went 5-5 at the helm, completing 140 of 250 passes for 1,764 yards and 14 touchdowns. However, he injured his right (throwing) hand against West Virginia Nov. 8 and was supplanted by Paul Peterson, who also got the nod last year. Porter spent last season on the scout squad.

"I think it was a good thing for him," O'Brien said. "He was able to take in a lot of things and learn from them."

Now it seems Porter has come full circle.

"I think he gives us the best chance," said O'Brien, "and I think it solidifies a lot of things in his mind going into the summer and allows us to move forward and address other pressing matters on the offense." The biggest decision facing O'Brien is what to do with Will Blackmon, a senior cornerback who was used at wide receiver in spring workouts.

"We probably won't decide that until the end of summer," O'Brien said.

Porter takes over a multiple offense that returns all five starters on the line and a committee of three talented sophomore running backs. "It's a great position to be in," Porter said after BC's spring game last Saturday.

"I couldn't ask for anything more. Now it's just up to me to take the reins and go with it. I'm excited to do it. It's a great opportunity."

Porter won the job over sophomore Matt Ryan, who was Peterson's backup last season and was thrown into the breach in a Big East clash against Syracuse with the conference title and a Bowl Championship Series berth at stake. The Eagles lost, 43-17.

"Playing the game he did last year against Syracuse probably helped him get ready for this year," O'Brien said. "It's only going to help him get better for next spring when he'll get the chance to compete again for the starting job. But, as I said to him, `You're only one play away.' "Not that I want him to be looking over his shoulder, but Quinton understands now that there's a performance clause in all of this. You still have to perform to keep your job. It's the same for everyone looking to win a starting job on this team."

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