Penn State defensive back makes AP midseason All-America team

Joey Porter Jr. entered the 2022 season with plenty of attention as a pro prospect, thanks to his physical tools and NFL bloodlines, but through the first half of the year, the Penn State cornerback has established himself as one of the nation’s top defensive backs.

Porter picked up an honor at the halfway point of the season Tuesday when he was named to The Associated Press midseason All-America team. The group was selected by AP Top 25 voters.

Porter, a redshirt junior, has 21 tackles, 10 pass breakups and one fumble recovery through six games. Porter’s 10 pass breakups are tied for second nationally, and he leads a Penn State team that ranks first nationally with 52 pass breakups.

“Joey’s probably one of the best defensive backs I’ve played with, so it’s just an honor to be alongside him,” Penn State cornerback Daequan Hardy said Tuesday.

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Porter is listed as a defensive back on the AP midseason All-America team. Mississippi State’s Emmanuel Forbes and Utah’s Clark Phillips III are the team’s cornerbacks, while Georgia’s Christopher Smith and Nevada’s Bentlee Sanders are the safeties.

Porter also made the 2022 CBS Sports Midseason All-America team.

Porter’s signature performance came in the season opener at Purdue when he was targeted numerous times and finished with six pass breakups. Porter also recovered a fumble to set up a key Penn State touchdown before halftime in what was ultimately a 35-31 win for the Nittany Lions in prime time.

Porter also had three pass breakups in the win over Central Michigan at the end of September.

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Porter is arguably Penn State’s top draft-eligible prospect this season. In the immediate aftermath of the 2022 NFL Draft, Porter was commonly projected to be a first-round pick in 2023 mock drafts. A mock draft from Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports projected Porter to be the No. 18 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals. Porter is ranked as the No. 41 overall prospect and the No. 8 cornerback in the CBS Sports prospect rankings.

ESPN NFL draft analysts released position rankings for the 2023 NFL Draft class earlier this month, and Porter made the top five at cornerback for analysts Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, Matt Miller and Jordan Reid. Kiper and Miller ranked Porter as the top-ranked cornerback in the draft. McShay ranked Porter as his No. 20 overall prospects.

The 6-foot-2, 198-pound Porter is well-regarded for his length, and he said he’s worked on his footwork this season to avoid penalties that plagued him in the back half of last season. Porter also has pro bloodlines as the son of longtime NFL pass rusher Joey Porter Sr.

Daniel Gallen covers Penn State for Lions247 and 247Sports. He can be reached at daniel.gallen@cbsinteractive.com. Follow Daniel on Twitter at @danieljtgallen.

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