From left, freshman running back Jorge Portorreal (30) and senior defensive back Quentin Jones (30) pose after practice on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, at Goodman Campus. The two are cousins and came to Lehigh to play football for the Mountain Hawks. (Irene Gao./B&W Staff)

Lehigh football’s Jones paves the way for younger cousin, standout receiver Portorreal

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When Lehigh senior defensive back Quentin Jones learned his younger cousin was being recruited by Lehigh, he couldn’t have been more excited.

Now a freshman, wide receiver Jorge Portorreal said he appreciates the bond he has with his older cousin as family and now, teammates.

“Our relationship is really, really close,” Portorreal said. “We’re almost like best friends. He is kind of like a mentor to me, helping me with literally everything. I was going to be here regardless, but with him being here I get to see the ins and outs of everything.”

Still navigating through his freshman year, Portorreal said it is nice to have family close by during the transition to college, especially because he didn’t see Jones often growing up. Portorreal said he and Jones only saw each other at big family events once every year or two, so it is great that they get to hang out every day while they are at Lehigh, even if they are just grilling burgers or playing video games in their free time.

Jones said he encouraged Portorreal to commit to Lehigh because he thought the school was the right choice for his cousin in terms of football and academics, but it is an added bonus that he and Portorreal can have fun together too.

“We’re clowns, always laughing and joking,” Jones said.

The cousins’ bond between the lines is just as tight as it is off the field. A.J. Reisig, Lehigh’s rovers coach and recruiting coordinator, said although he knew they were related during Portorreal’s recruiting process, he would have guessed Jones and Portorreal were brothers if he had not known any better.

“You truly see the closeness of their relationship on the field,” Reisig said. “Since they constantly get to go against each other at practice, it’s that friendly competition that only brothers understand.”

Portorreal is already on track to become a standout receiver for the Mountain Hawks, having been named Patriot League Rookie of the Week twice so far this season. Though Portorreal is excited to be making an impact on the field, it is not something he expected to happen so soon.

“It’s a really cool feeling,” he said. “It’s really surreal and not something I expected coming in. It’s not really explainable.”

As for Jones, he is not surprised at all by his cousin’s immediate impact. In fact, he did not expect anything less from Portorreal coming into his rookie year.

“Honestly, I’m not going to say I’m impressed with what he has done, just because I figured and expected this to begin with,” Jones said. “I knew what type of player he was and I had high expectations from the beginning.”

Although Portorreal scored his first touchdown in the game versus Yale on Sept. 16, Portorreal said the accomplishment did not mean much to him because the team didn’t win the game, and the team comes before individual player accomplishments.

It’s only fitting that Portorreal’s personal goal for this season is a team effort — winning a Patriot League Championship. Jones has the same dream in mind for his senior season.

“Plain and simple, my goal is to win the Patriot League Championship and to go on to win a national championship,” Jones said. “That’s my only goal and if that is accomplished then all of my personal goals will fall in after that.”

Portorreal and Jones both share the same goal — to earn a ring — and to keep it in the family.

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