Oakland Raiders DB Joe Porter Loves to Come Home

By: Janet Thompson Hilliman

Taking his story as a student to inspire and motivate students to set and achieve their goals is something that this former Franklin High School student in Somerset, NJ loves to do.  As a matter of fact he also loves to connect with his community and give back.  It is no wonder that Joe Porter who is now in his second season with the Oakland Raiders came home to visit his hometown and speak with the students at Franklin Middle School for Career Day last week. 

Of course he was a hit with the students and no surprise here.  He is one of them, one of their very own who has worked hard, persevered and is achieving his dream.  Joe in his usual cool, down to earth, humble and relatable style conveyed the message that anything is possible if the students put their minds to it.  He reiterated the importance of family, their support, hard work, effort and attitude.  He was not only a hit with the students but a hit with his former teachers and coaches who remembers Joe as one of the hardest working student and athlete to ever walk those halls.  He was known as a kid with a lot of grit and determination which has certainly paid off for him. No wonder they are proud of him.

Joe’s hard work paid off as a four year track athlete and a former All First Team for Somerset County at the WR position. He went on to Rutgers and won the Big East Indoor and Outdoor titles in the 200m.  He was also a part of the relay team that set a national record in the 4×200 at Rutgers.  As a football player at RU, he played 44 games with great stats: 94 tackles, 5 interceptions and 13 passes defensed. 

He went on to the NFL as an undrafted free agent and was picked up by the New Orleans Saints in 2007 and played on the practice team.  He also played on special teams with the Green Bay Packers and the Cleveland Brown practice squad.  He also had a lot of action in the arena football league where he played with the Las Vegas Locomotives during a brief interim from the NFL.  Actually his team the “Locos” as they are called was the league champions two years in a row, 2009 & 2010.  Now his career has taken him back to the NFL where he has signed with Oakland at the beginning of last season. 

Visiting schools and motivating young people is something Joe loves to do.  He enjoys interacting with the students to show them a positive perspective on life.  Recently he was seen at rehab center in Oakland cooking up a storm with some of the kids.  It was also said that he was the first pro athlete to visit a high school in Hayward, California last Thanksgiving.  The teachers and students thought that he was an inspiration. 

Joe is also twin brother to Jeff who is a professional track athlete, a former Michigan University star athlete who is ranked 8th in the world in the 110 hurdles.  Joe is known as a DB with tremendous speed and in this his second year with the Oakland Raiders we are cheering on this “Jersey Boy” when he suits up with his team on game day.