It's rare for Washington State to pick up a verbal commitment from the state of Alabama, but that's just what happened on Friday with 3-star cornerback Patrick Porter verbally committing to WSU, according to Britton Ransford of WazzuWatch.com and others.
The 6-foot, 170-pound Porter played high school football at Paul Bryant High School in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Rivals, 247 Sports and ESPN rate him as a 3-star prospect while Scout.com gave him two stars. Porter racked up an impressive offer list with Cincinnati, Kentucky, Ole' Miss, North Carolina, Miami and Tennessee among the schools reportedly offering.
Porter is a bit of an interesting case because he is yet to take an official visit. A lot of players will take their visits then make the decision to verbally commit. Porter is going the opposite route and will now take multiple visits. According to 247 Sports, Porter will visit WSU on January 18, Minnesota on January 24 and Miami on January 31. Rivals and Scout differ slightly, listing him with a planned visit to Toledo and January 31 instead of Miami. Regardless, Porter will take his visits and either firm up his commitment to WSU or decide another school is a better fit. That makes him a soft verbal to WSU. Essentially think of WSU as the leader in the clubhouse with players still left on the course.
Update: Porter announced the commitment during a school press conference. He spoke with AL.com after his quotes make it sound like his commitment is more solid than originally thought.
"I just felt like it was in my heart to go there out of all the schools," Porter said, via AL.com. "All the schools that recruited me did a great job, but something stood out about Washington State. Talking to coach (Mike) Leach, he always tells me I could be a big asset to the team. By committing and coming up there I could get early playing time because he's graduating five DBs in the secondary."
He also said he "doesn't see his commitment changing from now until National Signing Day" but he will take a trip to Toledo.
Some of Porter's senior highlights can be found on his Hudl page. The camera work on those highlights isn't great, but you can see a bit of what Porter has to offer. He runs well -- reportedly in the 4.4 range -- and isn't afraid to make a tackle. Although a bit light at 170 pounds, Porter does have a bigger frame and could develop into the big, physical corner Mike Breske covets.
While we'll have to wait and see if the commitment sticks, WSU continues to remake its secondary. The Cougars lost a few key pieces to graduation and lacked depth. That will soon change with an influx of talent headed to Pullman. Porter is the fourth corner committed to WSU in the 2014 class, joining Kevin Griffin, Sulaiman Hameed and junior college transfer Joseph Turner. In addition to those four, Marcellus Pippins and Markell Sanders are expected to enroll this semester as grayshirts. WSU will have very little experience at corner, but healthy depth numbers.