New Texas running backs coach Larry Porter has 14 years of college coaching experience under his belt, but he’s got much more to offer than that.
Few other assistant coaches in the country can produce a recruiting resume as sparkling as the one Porter brings to the Forty Acres.
Porter has coached more than a few great backs – Tatum Bell and Vernand Morency at Oklahoma State; Joseph Addai, Jacob Hester and Charles Scott at LSU -- but his prowess on the recruiting trail has earned him considerable acclaim.
He was twice named Rivals.com recruiter of the year during his five-year tenure in Baton Rouge, and was later named the top recruiter of the decade by the website in 2011.
He’s credited with landing six ESPN 150 prospects for LSU from 2006 to 2009. More impressive is the fact that four of them hailed from Texas.
Porter has strong Houston ties, which should be invaluable in a time when Texas A&M is thriving considerably on the recruiting trail under Kevin Sumlin.
The first big fish he lured for LSU was Terrance Toliver. The No. 1 ranked receiver hailed from Hempstead, Texas, and was the state’s top prospect in 2007. He also signed eventual starting quarterback Jarrett Lee, another ESPN 150 prospect, out of Brenham, Texas.
Then, in 2009, he did it again. Porter landed the No. 1 prospect in the state, top-ranked Houston Cypress Ridge athlete Russell Shepard.
The No. 3 prospect in the ESPN 150 gave Porter his pledge in March 2008 and never looked back. Shepard even teamed up with Porter to recruit some of the nation’s top prospects.
That partnership paid off in January of 2009, when top-ranked safety Craig Loston (Houston/Eisenhower) committed to LSU. Shepard and Loston, the No. 7 prospect in the ESPN 150, were the Tigers’ top-ranked signees that year.
Porter left in 2010 for a two-year stint as head coach at Memphis, but his fingerprints were all over the LSU's 2011 team that went 12-1 and played for a national title.
He was the lead recruiter for six starters on that LSU team and both of its quarterbacks, Lee and Jordan Jefferson.
Now he brings those talents to Texas, which could face difficulties in maintaining its share of the fertile Houston recruiting area.
Texas A&M has eight pledges who rank among the top 100 prospects in the state and hail from that area, and its move to the SEC made Houston a legitimate battleground in which Alabama, LSU and others are making inroads.
But the Tigers have been doing that for years now -- and for that, they have Porter to thank.