Defensive end Robert Porcher (Dr. Phillips/Orlando, Fla.), the son of the former NFL great by the same name, has a growing offer list, but his most recent Big Ten verbal grabbed his attention. Maryland, whose staff had just gotten in touch with Porcher a few days prior, offered the 6-foot-3, 250-pounder Feb. 18.
“I was real excited. I spoke with one of the coaches, Coach [Matt] Barnes, and he was telling me how it’s a new coaching staff and giving me information about the school,” said Porcher, who claims early verbals from UMD, Louisville, Indiana, Iowa State, FAU, UMass and ODU. “We’d been messaging on Twitter for a few days, just talking about things in general. I didn’t know he was going to offer, though, when I called him. So I was really excited; it was a big one to get.”
In addition to Barnes, Porcher had also been exchanging messages with Terps’ defensive line coach Mike London. The budding edge rusher is well aware of London’s reputation for producing linemen and believes the former UVA headman could help develop his game.
“Coach London, I haven’t spoken to him on the phone yet, but he’s been saying some cool things on Twitter and I want to meet him. He’s a great coach,” Porcher said. “And Coach Barnes, he’s chill too. He’s someone I want to get to know more, and I can’t wait to get up to Maryland and meet him.”
Porcher didn’t know much about UMD prior to his conversations with Barnes and London. But evidently Barnes clued the Dr. Phillips product in, the linebackers’ coach’s words piquing the defensive end’s interest.
“Coach Barnes was telling me how the CEO of Under Armour went to Maryland, and how they have a new facility they’re building, and how the players get to try out all the new Under Armour stuff. So that sounded pretty cool,” Porcher said. “The new facilities sound great, like they’re going to be real high-tech. That’s always good to have state-of-the-art facilities; it’s big for recruiting and training in general.”
Porcher said he should be able to make it up to College Park, Md., for a spring practice. He’s in the process of hashing through his schedule and finding a good time to venture out.
“And me and my teammate, Nick Smith, we have many of the same offers and we’re going to be traveling together. The plan is for us to commit to the same school,” Porcher said. “He has a Maryland offer too, and we’re both interested in them.”
So far, Porcher has been to Georgia Tech and Auburn this offseason, and previously visited UCF and Michigan State. He’s set to see Louisville and UNC (April 2), whose staff has been in contact, coming up. Schools such as Duke, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Georgia, NC State, South Carolina and Va Tech have been showing interest.
“I liked both of the schools I’ve seen so far, but I’m enjoying the process, listening to what people have to say and just taking my time,” Porcher said. “I’m not committing until next winter, so I’m going to sit back and enjoy it.”
Porcher is coming off a season where he recorded 92 tackles, 11 sacks and 34 tackles for loss. He said his father has played an instrumental role in helping Porcher IV progress from a backup during his sophomore year to a standout edge rusher in 2016.
"It's really cool to have my dad teach me and give me advice on what I need to do better," Porcher said. "He's always pushing me and telling me different things so I can keep expanding my game. It's great to have him around so I can ask questions too."