As a former Pro Bowl linebacker and Super Bowl champion there is more than a thing or two Joey Porter can teach his players at Colorado State. The most valuable of those lessons won’t pertain to the football field.
“If they can learn anything from me it’s that they’ll see that after 13 years [in the NFL] you still have to get your degree so I came back to get that,” Porter said as the CSU coaches watched Broncos training camp at Dove Valley.
The former Rams linebacker will join head coach Jim MacElwain’s staff as a graduate assistant. Porter decided to pursue his dream to play professionally, getting picked in the third round, before completing enough credits to graduate in Fort Collins.
Porter was named a third team All-American, registering 22 career sacks, then was drafted and became a focal and vocal part of a dominant Pittsburgh Steelers defense. He went to five Pro Bowls and a Super Bowl ring, but still with all that to his name Porter knew he had to have one simple accolade to make it after he retired from the game.
“You can’t do anything without it. I was fortunate to play pro ball for 13 years, but I wanted to come back and getting my degree,” he said. Porter needs only eighteen credit hours to graduate with with a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science.
The chance to get into the coaching ranks, something he always figured he would do after his player career also drove him back to CSU. Porter saying, “It’s a great opportunity to learn football from a different aspect, as a coach.”
MacElwain has made it a point to have the alumni more involved in program, and who better to to have around than the person that the locker room in their athletic facility is named after. Porter is a guy that the players can not only look up to but also to look towards for advice on a daily basis now.
“He wanted to get into coaching, and he has pretty good qualifications for that,” the second year head coach jokingly pointed out. “We’re just really excited to give him the opportunity to come back, finish up his degree and be part of something great.”
Porter will have no problem with the football aspect, it’s the going back to school that he’ll have to get used to.