Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Awards / Honors

Position switch transformed Porter into hall of famer

October 25, 2013

The 26th CSU Sports Hall of Fame banquet, sponsored by the Ram Alumni Athletes Association, is set for 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at the Fort Collins Hilton.

Joey Porter had 20 sacks in just two seasons playing defense for CSU.Legendary CSU football coach Sonny Lubick made lots of great decisions during his stellar career. One of the wisest was moving Joey Porter exactly three feet.

Porter was widely considered one of the most talented players at CSU during the 1995 and ’96 seasons, but he was clearly miscast as a receiver on offense. In two seasons he had just 13 receptions for 210 yards and no touchdowns.

Prior to his junior year, however, Porter was switched to defensive end – and the rest is Rams football history.

The right stuff

Porter didn’t just thrive on defense, he excelled. In two seasons he recorded 20 sacks – still good for fifth on CSU’s career list – and became one of the most-feared and respected defenders in the Western Athletic Conference. He capped his career by recording 14 sacks as a senior and earning first-team all-WAC honors.

“Thurmond Moore was the defensive line coach,” Porter recalled. “He helped me out a lot; he showed me everything. I just felt that with playing defense, I had my destiny in my own hands.”

Successful NFL career

Porter continued to make his mark on the game in the NFL, playing 13 seasons and being named to the Pro Bowl four times. He led the Pittsburgh Steelers, who drafted him in 1999, to the 2005 Super Bowl championship.

He finished his brilliant career with 98 sacks, 12 interceptions and 25 forced fumbles. And during that time he expressed his gratitude to Lubick and CSU by donating $200,000 to build the Joey Porter Locker Room in the McGraw Athletic Center.

Back to his roots

Despite all his accomplishments, Porter believed he had unfinished business at CSU, so he returned to his alma mater this fall to complete work on his degree while working as a student assistant coach on Jim McElwain’s staff.

“I understand that my days of playing are over, but I love the game so much that it is hard for me to let it go,” he said. “The joy I get now is watching a young kid go out and do something I coached him to do; there is no better feeling for me. I don’t get to do it myself, but I get the same satisfaction by watching the players I coach learn and grow in the sport of football. It has been a unique opportunity to come back to CSU and coach the sport I love.”

Banquet open to all fans

Porter is one of six former CSU standouts being inducted into the school’s sports hall of fame. Other honorees include Allison Peckham (volleyball), Willis Holland (football and wrestling), Marne Findlay (track and cross country), Bradlee Van Pelt (football) and Hutton (swimming).

Tickets for the annual banquet are $70 for RAAA members, $75 for non-members. They can be purchased online or by calling (877) 498-7787.