James Durrant, UteZone

Reginald Porter enjoying his last ride

Senior CB Reginald Porter has had a long road to become a starter at Utah. He reflects on his time as a Ute.

Regginald Porter is the complete antithesis of his position group. Cornerbacks are typically known for being vocal, loving the limelight and throwing around a lot of trash talk, but Porter has always opted to have his play do all the talking for him and boy does it. In 2015, Porter led the team in pass break-ups and tied for second in the Pac-12 with 11. He also accounted for 38 total tackles. The journey to his senior year with the Utes however, has been anything but easy.

The Louisiana native earned a starting role as a redshirt freshman in 2013 only to lose it after getting exposed against Oregon State. In 2014 it looked as though he had learned from his early mistakes and was ready to be a dominate force for the defensive backfield when he blew out his ACL in fall camp and was lost for the season. Early indications in 2016 are that Porter is as good as ever after having the game of his life against BYU recording his first career interception and is ready to take the PAC-12 by storm with the help of his brothers.

“It’s been a long road,” Porter reflects. “I mean, I had to go through some stuff. I had my torn ACL and stuff like that, but everything that has happened I feel like happened for a reason. It just made me a better player. I’m just excited this is my last year and I just have to come out every game and play hard. We all have aspirations. I just have to meet my potential this year for my senior year and play for all the guys on the team.”

After everything Porter has been through to get to this point he understands the value of having a good support system that includes both of his parents, Reggie Senior and Jokelia as well as his Utah Football Family. “I had a lot of support. I had my teammates supporting me, my family supporting me,” he said. “My pops and coach Shah were probably the most supportive, my moms also. It was a lot of people. It was a bad place. You go into a mental place, but I had a lot of support. It wasn’t just one person.”

To no one's surprise, Porter says he’s learned the most from his position coach Sharrieff Shah, but what he has learned from him goes far beyond the gridiron. “Coach Shah, you learn a lot from football but you learn most of your stuff from outside of football,” Porter said. “He’s just a good person. Ever since I got here he has been just like my father figure out here. He’s just going to support you no matter what and out here he’s going to be the same coach every day. You love that. He’s more than just a football coach. He’s a great person. He’s a person I love.”

Ask Porter about a favorite memory from his time with the Utes and he’s hard pressed to pick just one because the whole experience has been a positive for him despite so many negatives in the beginning. “I dunno. It’s tough. There are a lot of good memories,” he said. “I mean there were a lot of good players that came, I got a lot of memories, a lot of friends, a lot of jokes, playing and stuff. I have a lot of memories.”

One thing is for certain, Porter will not be looking up this article or any others past or present about himself. An oddity for someone 22 years old in this day and age he has abstained from the lures of social media and the Internet unlike most of his peers. “It kind of started back when I was in high school and I just never got into it,” he explained. “I feel like I am so far behind that there is no point in me doing it now so I’m like ‘whatever’. I’m just not into it like that I guess.”

Porter also isn’t much for reveling in his own glory. He doesn’t care too much how fans will remember him. His main concern is to play to the best of his ability and give his team the best chance to win. That blue collar, put your head down and do your work type mentality may just end up being what fans remember and like about him most of all.

“I don’t think of stuff like that,” he said earnestly. “I don’t even know. I just want to go out and play and whatever memories they are going to have that’s what they are going to have.”


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