Scouting Report - Already checking in at a solidly-built 6-foot-9 and 225 pounds, Porter is headed toward a 5-star national ranking with Scout.com. He’s highly versatile for such a tall youngster. Tape shows a polished offensive player at ease with the ball in his hands on the perimeter, where he’s effective taking opponents off the dribble and finishing through contact with either hand.
Porter is also an excellent shooter despite a low release and displays high-level ball handling skills, particularly in transition. He’s also a clever passer in traffic, where he sees the floor well.
In the paint, he shines as well. A lefty, Porter shows good touch near the hoop backing down opponents with multiple primary and counter moves. He’s not the most explosive player off the bounce, but he’s a superb finisher at all angles through contact. Versus double teams, he’s patient and cool under pressure.
Defensively, he’s a willing defender and instinctive shot-blocker.
Porter is so young, however, and his upside so high on both ends of the floor, trying to pigeon-hole him into a position and style of play before he starts his sophomore year of high school would be doing him a disservice. Watching highlights shows a player potentially capable of playing any of the three front court positions, though some believe he could top seven feet by the time he enrolls at Washington three years from now. Three years of development and maturation is an eternity for a youngster with that much upside.
What does Porter’s early commitment mean for Washington? - Let’s be clear: Lorenzo Romar just earned a commitment from the best pure prospect in the program’s history. His tools are tantalizing for any program, but particularly for Washington because he checks off so many boxes. There is no comparable Washington player because they’ve never had a player quite like this.
How does Porter’s commit affect Washington’s recruiting going forward? - It’s worth noting that Porter is the younger brother of another prized recruit, Michael Porter, Jr., who is one of the top recruits in the country for 2017. It’s anybody’s guess how much sway Jontay might have over his older sibling, especially in light of the fact that Michael is a one-and-done caliber talent, but it certainly can’t hurt the Huskies’ chances of landing big brother.
In a quasi-related development, Washington offered touted 2017 point guard Trae Young Sunday, who happens to be Michael Porter’s best friend. It’s no secret that the Romars and Porters are very close, so there’s at least a decent chance that the stars align, with Young’s commitment possibly pointing Washington’s direction.
In terms of the ‘Porter Effect’ on recruiting, the Huskies already had a ton of momentum. They spent the summer recruiting period shadowing a few hand-picked priorities, almost entirely backcourt players. As we learned with the Huskies’ 2015 recruiting class, when you have a diamond in your back pocket it makes recruiting the rest of the class much easier. In the case of Washington right now, there’s no room on the roster for fluff and the guys they’ve targeted are the cream of the crop.
If you start thinking along the lines of players like Markelle Fultz, Jaylen Nowell, and Daejon Davis, they’re attempting to load the roster with truly elite talent. Not Sweet Sixteen talent, but honest-to-God, Final Four-caliber talent. In the same vein that Dejonte Murray and Marquese Chriss acted as the Pied Piper for Husky recruiting in 2015, Porter can have that same effect for 2018.
But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. Fans should celebrate the commitment of Jontay Porter purely on its own merits. By himself, he may end up one of the biggest commitments in the program’s history, even if it’s a little hard to see that far down the road. Congratulations to Coach Romar and his staff, and a hearty welcome to the Porter family from Husky Nation!