‘I Soaked It All In’: Joey Porter Jr. Enjoys Special Day Opening Steelers Rookie Minicamp

As a young boy, Joey Porter Jr. walked and played on the grass at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, dreaming of one day being in the NFL himself.

That dream became a reality Friday as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ second-round pick at No. 32 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft completed his first practice as a member of the Steelers, the same organization that he grew up around while watching his father, Joey Sr., play and later coach for.

Speaking with reporters following Day 1 of the three-day Rookie Minicamp, Porter said that he took a moment to himself before hitting the practice field on the South Side, according to video via 93.7 The Fan’s Jeff Hathhorn.

“Yeah, definitely. I soaked it all in. It took me like three minutes to get outside because I was just standing at my locker,” Porter said to reporters, according to video via Hatthorn on Twitter. “I did that whole little scene, just prayed and looked at the whole field and was like, ‘Dang, I really used to be out here as a middle schooler and a person in high school, and now I’m out here.'”

The storybook scenes continue to play out for the hometown kid. On the same practice field he once went one-on-one with Antonio Brown as a high schooler, Porter made his Steelers debut (sort of) donning the Black and Gold as a real member of the team, kickstarting his own professional career.

“I feel at home already, just like as a young kid,” Porter said, according to video via “I used to come through here through these doors and workout. Now I’m a grown man doing the same thing, so it feels good.”

Though it’s just a rookie minicamp and Porter’s place on the roster is secured, that didn’t keep the second-round pick from trying to send a message Friday.

According to Porter, he took some advice from his father ahead of the minicamp and tried to put that advice into action.

“He just told me to be me, work hard and just be that pissed-off player that I am right now,” Porter added.

It still seems a bit surreal that Porter, who was a just under 5 years old at the time the Steelers won Super Bowl XL over the Seattle Seahawks and had that iconic photo taken with his father on the field at Ford Field after the win, would one day wear the same jersey and be part of the same organization as his father.

Friday was just the start of that dream becoming a reality for the Penn State product. Soak in all the moments, Joey.

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