Joey Porter Jr. has blossomed into a star for the Penn State defense over the last two seasons. Even with a new defensive coordinator, Porter Jr. has gotten off to a flying start this year. Through two games this season, he already has more pass deflections than he did all of last year. He was also the National Defensive Player of the Week in after his Week 1 performance against Purdue. He looks poised to continue his breakout season, and all signs point to him getting drafted in April.
The goal has always been the NFL for Porter Jr., and it makes sense when you look at some of the memories he got to be a part of as a kid. His dad, Joey Porter, played 11 seasons in the NFL, recording 98 career sacks and winning a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers. At just five years old, Porter Jr. watched his dad win that Super Bowl and celebrated with him on the field.
Joey Porter's NFL Blueprint for His Son
As a father, Porter has gotten to watch his son dominate the same side of the ball, just in a different way. Although he is not rushing quarterbacks like his dad, Porter Jr. still makes their lives miserable. By eliminating opposing teams' best wide receivers and breaking up what seems like every pass that comes his way, he has made a name for himself.
Joey Porter Jr. is a ball player
— Antwan V. Staley (@antwanstaley) September 2, 2022
He has a chance to go in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft, which would be two rounds earlier than his dad. As a third-round pick, Porter absolutely made the most out of the opportunity he was given, and it looks like he wants the same for his son. As a former NFL player and coach, the elder Porter has made sure to get his son ready for success. When he returns home from campus, they train together and pick up right where they left off, an advantage not many other prospects have.
Porter Jr. Became Penn State's Leader Through Hard Work
Porter Jr.'s offseason training plan has definitely been working, as he continues to progress each year. From his freshman year to now his junior year, he looks like a completely different player. He looks fearless on the field, ready to take on whatever receiver is in front of him. This is exactly the mentality that the whole Penn State defense needs, especially with some of the high-powered offenses on the schedule ahead.
Teams like Ohio State and Maryland have wide receivers that could get taken in the first round of the NFL draft. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, from Ohio State, led the Big Ten in receiving last year as a sophomore. He also set a Rose Bowl record with 347 receiving yards and three touchdowns in last year's game against Utah.
Porter Jr. and the defense are ready for the challenge, and so far this season they have shown flashes of being great. While the team let up a lot of passing yards against Purdue, the defense only allowed three touchdowns and forced 29 incompletions. Porter Jr. forced six of these incompletions, a career-high for him. A late stop by the Nittany Lions' defense gave the Penn State offense a chance to win the game, and they did.
Nice postgame moment between Penn State cornerback (@jjporter_1) and his dad and Super Bowl champ Joey Porter Sr. following the Nittany Lions' season-opening win over Purdue.
— The Football Letter (@PSUFBLetter) September 9, 2022
In Week 2 against Ohio University, Porter Jr. and the defense looked much more dominant than in the previous game. The Ohio offense only gained 264 total yards, and other than a late score in the second quarter and a fourth-quarter field goal, the defense played lights out.
This is how Penn State needs to play against their much weaker opponents, especially with games against Auburn, Michigan and Ohio State coming up. Their win in Week two was good enough to get them back into the top 25, and Penn State is the No. 22 ranked program in the country as of publication.
Porter Jr. Highlights Coach Franklin's Changes for Penn State
With superstar players like Joey Porter Jr. on the roster, head coach James Franklin has to feel good about his chances against those other top schools. While no one knows how this year's Penn State team will fare against these schools, they have more than enough experience on both the offense and defense to walk away with wins.
This Penn State defense is ready to turn heads with their play this season. With plenty of important games still coming up, the big opportunities for these players are just starting. If Porter Jr. can continue to make plays when these moments come, he could very well become the first Penn State cornerback ever to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Quarterbacks are going to have to be extra careful when the Porter name makes its way back into professional football.
It must have seemed like a lot to live up to, having a father who was a star in the NFL and a Super Bowl champion, but Porter Jr. seems to be doing it. He has used his resources to his advantage and has continued to get better each year. There is no telling yet just how high his ceiling might be, and as good as he has been this year, the best of Joey Porter Jr. is still yet to come.