Q&A: WSU's Porter likes hands-on approach

PULLMAN — As he enters his sophomore year at WSU, Patrick Porter has already worked with two position coaches/defensive coordinators. But being mentored by Alex Grinch this spring, he says, has been a blessing. Cougfan.com caught up with Porter after practice to discuss Grinch, his favorite Mike Leach story and more.

Porter was part of a Cougar secondary last season that tallied only three interceptions. But Porter says he’s learned a lot about the art of the takeaway from Grinch this spring, helping him become a better corner than he was as a true freshman.

The 5-foot-9, 163-pounder was thrust into action last season, posting two starts and playing in four games. It was trial by fire, as he tallied nine tackles and posted two pass break ups. Porter this spring is competing against third-year sophomore Charleston White and sophomore Marcellus Pippins for a starting job and has been running primarily with the second team defense to this point.

Cougfan.com: What’s it been like working with new defensive coordinator Alex Grinch so far?
Porter: It’s been great so far, he’s been teaching me a lot of stuff that I didn’t know last year that helped me better my game and made better players around me. With him it’s more like the coach I never had. He’s more involved with us than our defensive coordinator (Mike Breske) was last year... more hands on stuff, so we learn more. We’re learning more this year.

Cougfan.com: What some examples of Grinch’s involvement with you guys?
Porter: He’s more active with the players... When we make a play, he’ll get hyped up, so he gets us hyped up. He’s always talking to us and always in the drills -- like if we mess up we have to do up-downs, he does up-downs with us. So he’s more active with us, he makes us feel more comfortable.

Cougfan.com: How’s the secondary performing this spring?
Porter: I feel like we’re progressing well so far. We still have a long way to go, but I feel like we’re making moves this year.

Cougfan.com: How does Pullman compare to your hometown Tuscaloosa, Alabama?
Porter: The people. We've got a lot of good people back home, so it can be like that, and when it’s hot out here it feels (like) back home. Other than that it’s really hard to say.

Cougfan.com: If you could match up against one wide receiver in the college or pros, who would it be?
Porter: Steve Smith.

Cougfan.com: Do you have a favorite/funny Mike Leach story you can share?
Porter: [laughs] When I came on my visit, and we was having one-on-one talks and he was talking to me about going fishing. He was telling me about how it was crazy when he went fishing one day, and he was saying something about how he was out there all day, and wasn’t catching any fish. He was over it, but he loves fishing, so that was kind of funny to me.

Cougfan.com: Who’s the biggest jokester on the team?
Porter: I would say KP. Palacio, he’s crazy, he’s a big jokester. Him and probably Ivan McLennan. They’re both really funny.

Cougfan.com: What kind of pranks do they pull?
Porter: They’re goofy kids. You know, they like to have fun, so they’ll probably set up a prank on somebody like taking somebody’s stuff and put it in someone else’s locker, something like that. Or someone’s walking out of the locker room, they’ll put water on their head.

Cougfan.com: Before a big game, what are you listening to on your iPod to get you pumped up?
Porter: [laughs] Probably Young Jeezy, I like Young Jeezy a lot. Big Sean, 2Pac, Biggie Smalls.

Cougfan.com: What’s the one college team you’re dying to face?
Porter: (smiles) Alabama.

Porter attended Paul W. Bryant High in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and was ranked a two star prospect on Scout.com. His senior year in high school, he made 68 tackles, nine for loss, recorded four interceptions, 13 pass break-ups and forced three fumbles.

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