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Penn State Football Preseason Top 10: No. 4 Joey Porter Jr.

Porter is set to play a big role in what could the the Big Ten’s best secondary

Illinois v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

It’s time for our annual season top 10! Each summer, the staff votes on its top 10 players ahead of the upcoming season. A first place vote is worth 10 points, second place is worth nine points, and so on.

Reminder: This is a Top 10 for how the players will produce this season. It’s not just based on what they have done in their career up to this point. Instead, it’s how we think they will play this coming season.

How He Got Here

Joey Porter Jr.‘s bloodlines drew most of the attention when he committed nearly four years ago in September 2018. Joey Porter is highly regarded as an NFL great at linebacker, but his son has made a transition to the secondary that seems destined to end in the NFL. Porter Jr. was a four-star commit and seemed to really draw the attention of Power 5 programs once he showed the versatility to bring his rangy frame to the defensive backfield. He played in four games in 2019 to preserve a redshirt before emerging as a starter to open the abbreviated 2020 season. You might remember him sacking Michael Penix early in the season-opener to end Indiana’s first drive as Penn State already led 7-0 and the world felt right? In 2021, Porter Jr. earned third-team all-conference honors from the coaches.

What to Expect in 2022

Porter Jr. is entrenched as a starter at one of the cornerback positions and his name is generating early NFL Draft buzz. There’s always a market for athletic and physical defensive backs. Speaking of that physicality though, it undoubtedly proved detrimental at times. In early November, following five penalties in two games, James Franklin even called on Porter Jr. to better recognize when to use that aggression and physical style. Penn State’s secondary was viewed as a strength in 2021. Despite losing two regulars NFL training camps, Porter Jr. hopes to help bolster a group that will be tested right out of the gate against Purdue.