After Nebraska offer, WSU LB verbal says ...

JUST BECAUSE Mike Riley left Oregon State for Nebraska doesn’t mean he’s going to abandon his West Coast recruiting ties. Three-star JUCO linebacker Aaron Porter has long been verbally committed to Washington State but Nebraska and another school recently offered the 6-3, 240-pound versatile ‘backer. So what’s Porter think about the prospect of playing for the Cornhuskers rather than the Cougars?

Thanks but no thanks.

“I was offered by a couple schools but I’m staying committed to Washington State. Nebraska offered and San Diego State offered,” said Porter (6-3, 240) out of Cerritos College.

What was it about Wazzu that Porter didn’t want to look further into the possibility of playing in Lincoln, or staying closer to home?

“I just love the coaches and the area,” said Porter of Washington State. “And then kinda just getting away from home is (a positive) too, just to do my own thing.”

Porter said he had recently talked on the phone with new Cougar defensive coordinator Alex Grinch but hadn’t yet connected with new outside linebackers coach Roy Manning. But Porter said he has been in frequent touch with Cougar area recruiter Jim Mastro.

Porter nearly pledged to WSU and Mastro coming out of La Habra High before deciding to stay with nearby UCLA. But he forged a tight bond with Mastro and so when the opportunity came up again, he wasn't going to pass a second time on joining him in Pullman. For Porter, there’s no need to take an official visit out to Lincoln or elsewhere.

“I already know I’m going there -- and (Mastro) knows I’m going there,” said Porter of Washington State, who with also reunite with good friend and former La Habra teammate Brett Bartolone out on the Palouse.

Porter, a very good student at Cerritos, had planned to sign in December as a midyear transfer to Washington State. But a last minute administrative snafu resulted in one more class to take at Cerritos before getting his AA degree. He’ll sign with WSU on Feb. 4, graduate in the spring with his AA and arrive at WSU on or before the middle of June. Porter will have two-to-play-two at Washington State.

What makes Porter different from your average junior college get is his extreme versatility. A very fluid 240-pounder, Porter has excellent lateral and straight-ahead speed – so much so he could play any of the Cougar linebacker positions. As CF.C reported last week, Grinch will be installing a more aggressive, downhill approach on defense. And that sounds just right to Porter.

“I hope it’s going to be more aggressive, more blitzing, more pressures -- that’s what I’m into,” he said.

Porter racked up a team-leading 87 tackles this season with five sacks and one interception. He earned All-Conference honors as well as MVP honors in the Golden State Bowl (12 tackles, 1.5 sacks).

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