All fans should ALWAYS maintain loyalty to those on the field, and maintain the integrity of their declared fanship by not lowering their execution as a fan lower than they will accept effort and execution on the fields or courts. Too many want to justify display of less than stellar fanship, theirs or others, for any number of reasons. There is a floor. Way to similar to the decline in adherence to the "for better or worse" pledge common in wedding vows. I prefer fans that hang tough and apply discretion not excretion with or without "hope I am wrong" disclaimers. Often a fan can either SUCK or SUCK IT UP. There are always methods to achieve goals without sacrificing class.
“They had a whole lot of energy up there between the fans and the team, and I really enjoyed it. I just really enjoyed it.”
Porter said he was surprised by the size of Neyland Stadium, where an announced crowd of more than 100,000 attended Saturday’s game.
“It caught me off guard a little bit because I was at Ole Miss the (previous) weekend,” he said, “and the stadium, it probably holds double the amount of people Ole Miss holds.”
The Vols’ offense under first-year coach Josh Heupel has caught his attention this season, and he enjoyed seeing it in person during Saturday’s visit.
“I had watched a couple of games before, just to see how their offense runs, and seeing them in person was a lot better — seeing how they warm up and some of the plays they run and all that kind of stuff,” Porter said.
“That’s the kind of offense I like — more fast-paced. Change it up a lot, but not too much, and go down the field so that we can score.”
Alex Golesh, Tennessee’s offensive coordinator and tight ends coach, and wide receivers coach Kodi Burns were among the members of the Vols’ staff who spent time with Porter on Saturday.
“I talked with the offensive coordinator and the receivers coach, both of them — mainly the offensive coordinator,” Porter said of Golesh, his area recruiter for Tennessee. “They gave me one of the assistant coaches, as well, and I talked to some of the trainers there on how they treat the players after games and practices and stuff.
“They just wanted to make sure I had a good experience that I kind of enjoyed, just being up there, and I see the nice facilities. And I got to see some big people up there. Peyton Manning was up there, (and) Candace Parker and some other Hall of Famers were up there. …
“They said I’d be a big part of their offense, with my size being 6-foot-3 and over 190 pounds — and getting bigger as time goes on. I could be a good part of their offense and be able to help the team out a lot.”
Porter said he didn’t “really” have a favorite college team growing up, but he’s interested in Tennessee based on his early interactions with the Vols. And he intends to visit them again.
“I’ll definitely go back up there,” he said. “I enjoyed it and enjoyed the experience. … I don’t really have a main favorite thing (about Tennessee). But I do like the facilities. The facilities are very nice and updated.”
“It was a good experience. The energy was awesome with all the fans,” the prospect said. “I can tell the players enjoyed that a lot; they were hype. I got to see the practice facilities and how they run things. I spoke to some trainers and they take everything seriously.
“It was good to see.”
The three-star originally planned to be on campus for a game day visit earlier this season, but had to delay the short-trek by a couple of weeks. Saturday was his first time on campus after initially being offered last season by the Jeremy Pruitt regime.
“The new staff reached out when they got hired. They saw how athletic I was coming in and out of my breaks and liked me from there,” Porter explained. “Now that I’m a junior, we’ve started building the relationship by talking on the phone and through text.”
Offensive coordinator Alex Golesh and wide receivers coach Kodi Burns are leading the recruitment for the Middle Tennessee product.
“They say I have good stature for a wide receiver and that I’m athletic and make plays for my team,” Porter said of the Vol assistants. “They said I can be a big part of the offense. We text about twice a week and talk on the phone every other week.”
The 2021 season for Porter was his first since 2019 as a freshman at Lipscomb Academy. After transferring to Ensworth as a sophomore, he was forced to sit out per TSSAA rules. Still, the offers began coming in and the practice time was well spent as Porter accounted for six touchdowns and 446 yards on 29 receptions this past fall.
And growing up in the mid-state, The Tennessee native is surrounded by Vol fans.
“I’ve heard Tennessee is a good place to be. I have a ton of people telling me every week that it’s the place to be with nice facilities and people who will take care of me,” the target said. “From what I’ve seen so far, it seems like it’s true and that it’s a good place.
“I like the overall perspective on how they treat their players and how they don’t just look at them as athletes. They also focus on the academic side and life.”
Porter has 14 offers to date with no ‘favorites’ in mind right now as there’s much to come over the next calendar year.
The three-star will be at Kentucky on Friday and in Cincinnati for a game day check-in on Saturday. The 2023 prospect camped at Clemson and Georgia over the summer and was in Oxford to see Ole Miss two weeks ago.
Tennessee, however, made a great impression on the junior as Porter no doubt plans to be back in Knoxville at some point.
“I want to come back and visit. It’s definitely a place I’ll come back to before I pick wherever I’m going to go. It was a great experience and I really liked it,” Porter concluded. “It will be big for me to continue to take visits and make connections with coaches to see where I fit in the best.