Joey Porter Sr. ‘Wanted It to Be The Steelers So Bad’ For Joey Porter Jr. In The Draft

For the past year, ahead of the 2022 college football season and the eventual buildup to the 2023 NFL Draft, the speculation regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers and Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. seemingly never ended.

There was the storyline regarding the obvious family connection between Porter Jr. and Pittsburgh, which really drove that speculation and overall hype. Porter Jr. grew up inside the Steelers’ locker room as his father once was an All-Pro and Pro Bowl player in Pittsburgh and helped bring a Super Bowl title back to the Steel City.

Porter Sr., of course, also coached in Pittsburgh after his playing days, allowing Porter Jr. to continue growing up inside the locker room and the facility. Leading up to the draft, with Porter Jr.’s next destination unknown, all Porter Sr. wanted was for his son to be a Steeler. At least, that’s what he told Steelers.com’s Teresa Varley for a profile piece that ran on the team’s website Tuesday morning. 

“I wanted it to be the Steelers so bad for him,” Porter Sr. told Varley. “But they did such a good job of not letting us know. I have over 50 friends in that building that know me personally and I got nothing from anybody to say, ‘Man, be ready, it’s coming,’ or anything. We wanted it. Trust me, that’s what we wanted. But we just didn’t feel like we could say for sure that’s what it was going to be.”

It’s not surprising that landing in Pittsburgh and being a Steeler was what Joey Porter Sr. and his wife, Christy, wanted for their son coming out of Penn State. Having the chance to not only keep him back home in Pittsburgh, but also have him going to a facility with a coaching staff he knows well sets up as an ideal landing spot for Porter Jr. That should make his transition to the NFL a bit easier compared to other rookies coming into different situations.

Porter Sr. wanting his son to be a Steeler isn’t surprising either, even with the potential pressure that will come with his last name and legacy in the Steelers’ organization, and the high expectations that will be placed on his son as soon as he steps onto the field in a competitive situation as a Steeler.

It’s a remarkable story overall, one that seems like it’s more of a fairytale than a real development that actually will play out on an NFL field, especially with a franchise as successful and consistent as the Steelers.

But that emotion on the day Porter Jr. was drafted was real and was ratcheted up tenfold when he became a Steeler, landing exactly where his father and mother wanted him to be in the end.

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