Tamarcus Porter a proud Panther

The University of Pittsburgh added to their outstanding 2006 football recruiting class on Monday morning when two-way standout Tamarcus Porter (6-ft-1 inches, 180 pounds) from Pahokee High School in Pahokee, FL verbally committed to the Panthers. Porter contacted the PantherDigest.com to talk about his pledge to Pitt.

"I just got off the phone with Coach (Charlie) Partridge and I told him I was coming to Pitt," stated two-way standout Tamarcus Porter. "It was very funny. Coach Partridge got really excited and told me he almost drove his car off the road!"

Porter received nearly 30 scholarship offers. Ohio State, Boston College, Iowa, Clemson and Virginia were just a few of the upper echelon football programs to offer him. Scout.com ranks Tamarcus the 60th best safety prospect in the nation. He is the 22nd player to join the 2006 recruiting class.

"I have always like Pitt. They were one of the first teams to recruit me and they never let up," he said. "I looked at other school but I kept coming back to Pitt and it seemed that my heart was in Pittsburgh. Their coaching staff really wanted me, but they never pushed me to commit. I appreciated that. My visit there was great and most of the players from Florida that visited with me joined the Panthers."

Tamarcus, known as "TJ", visited the Panthers during their season opener against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9/3/05). He was joined by fellow recruits and future teammates "Sticky" Ricky Gary from Pahokee, FL, Dexter Davidson from Coconut Creek, FL and Jared Martin from Davie, FL.

Porter is capable of making an impact on both sides of the ball. When asked if he preferred offense or defense on the next level, he stated, "It doesn't matter to me. I want to get onto the field. I know I can make an impact. Greg Lee left for the NFL so maybe I can get my first opportunity at wide receiver. Coach Partridge told me there was a possibility I could play both ways."

Although Tamarcus is a soft spoken young man, he wasn't shy about making a few bold predictions. "I know there are a lot of great players that signed with Pitt. Dorin Dickerson might be the best of them. I have seen him on film and I think I can beat him out for the starting wide receiver position. I want to compete against the best and he's a good one," he said.

Tamarcus caught 45 passes for 850 yards and scored 15 touchdowns from his wide receiver position. He registered 65 tackles, 5 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles playing both cornerback and safety.

Porter is capable of running the forty-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. He is a solid student with a 3.0 grade point average and 19 on his ACT.

The Panthers received a verbal commitment from Porters' teammate "Sticky" Ricky Gary. He is a rare mix of personality, verbosity and energy. He will quickly become fan favorite. Porter is the complete antithesis of Gary. He is reserve, quiet and soft spoken. The PantherDigest.com asked Tamarcus if he planned on rooming with Gary when they arrive at Pitt. "Yes, I probably will end up rooming with Gary. We haven't talked about it yet, but it would make sense," he replied. "Ricky talks non-stop and I don't say much so it might be a good fit! We've been teammates so I'm used to his personality."

"I'm excited to be a Panther. My goal is to be named the Big East Freshman of the Year. I'm going to work hard and do everything possible to get onto the field next year."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harrypsaros@msn.com.

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