Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

PSU Football

‘Now, He’s a Grown Man’: PSU CB Coach Terry Smith Talks Joey Porter Jr.’s Maturity

Photo by Penn State Athletics: Joey Porter Jr.

Joey Porter Jr. has come a long way since arriving at Penn State. 

On the field, he’s has established himself as a shutdown cornerback and will likely go in the first round of next year’s draft. 

Porter has also grown off the field, and his position coach, Terry Smith, has had a front-row seat for it. 

Like Porter, Smith is a western Pennsylvania guy. Both made names for themselves as players in the Pittsburgh area. In the 1980s, Smith became a star at Gateway High School and thus got a scholarship to Penn State, where he had an excellent career. More than 30 years after his last game, Smith is still No. 14 all-time on the school’s receiving list. 

Porter already had a big name before he ever knew what football was. By the time Porter was born, his father, Joey Porter Sr., was already in the NFL. The younger Porter eventually became a good player, too, and like Smith, starred at a WPIAL program. Porter’s career at North Allegheny High School in Wexford, Pennsylvania, led him to become a four-star recruit and the No. 4 player in Pennsylvania according to 247Sports’ composite ratings.

Porter stayed in PA and signed with Penn State in December of 2018. By his admission, Porter wasn’t as mature as he needed to be right away.

“Coming into college, everybody in high school is thinking they’re the man,” Porter told reporters via Zoom last month. “They’re the guy. They should get this, that… that’s what I thought when I came in. I felt like I was the man; I was the next guy up.”

Smith let Porter know he wasn’t “the man” quite yet. 

Looking back, Porter appreciates Smith for telling him what he needed to hear, not what he wanted. 

The two have developed a solid bond. 

“I feel like, over the years, me and him have been locked in,” Porter said. “It’s been a great relationship with Coach T. That’s my guy. I can call him whenever I have a problem with something, on and off the field. So he’s just really been a great mentor and a coach to me.”

In Smith’s words, Porter was “a kid” when he got to Penn State

Now, he’s a “grown man.”

 “Just in the maturity factor,” Smith told reporters via Zoom Thursday. “When you’re young, we think we all have the answers, and as we get older, we start to listen a little more and have a little more faith in trust in the things around us, and that’s what he’s done. He’s trusted (the coaching staff) and given us full faith.”

This Saturday, Porter and the rest of Penn State’s secondary will face their toughest test of the season when they play Ohio State and its celebrated receiving corps in Beaver Stadium. 

It’s not clear who will win that battle, but what’s clear is that Porter has the world ahead of him. 

“He’s done a tremendous job,” Smith said. “He’s worked his tail off. This guy’s constantly in the weight room, out on the field. In the meeting room. Everything that he’s getting, he’s absolutely worked hard and deserved to get.”

To Smith, Porter’s legacy is clear. 

“He’s reaping the rewards of arguably one of the better corners to ever play here at Penn State,” Smith said.

Get NSN in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts by email.

More from Nittany Sports Now

PSU Football

0 Penn State cornerback Joey Porter has had a standout season in 2022. His play on the field ensures he will receive a first-round...

Transfer Portal

0 Penn State has extended an offer Dorian Singer, a receiver who entered the transfer portal after two seasons with Arizona. Blessed to receive...

PSU Football

0 Penn State is playing Utah Jan. 2 in the 109th Rose Bowl Game. It will be Penn State’s fifth appearance in “The Granddaddy of Them...

PSU Football Recruiting

1 As I embark on my exciting journey to dive deep into everything Penn State football with Nittany Sports Now, I’ll start with an...

Get Nittany Sports Now in your inbox

Sign-up for email updates and get the whole story first from the Nittany Sports Now team, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.