Connect with us

Steelers News

Joey Porter Jr. a Pittsburgh Kid with California Roots



Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr
Pittsburgh Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr. at training camp on July 30, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Joey Porter Jr. is the scion of Pittsburgh royalty, who grew up best friends with the son of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and played his pre-NFL football at North Allegheny and Penn State.

That’s about as Western Pennsylvania as a person can get, but in many ways, Porter’s trip with the Steelers to Southern California this weekend will be a homecoming. The Porter family may have become royalty in Pittsburgh, but it was started in Bakersfield, California.

Joey Porter Sr. was a star running back at Foothill High School in Bakersfield, California before he went on to play defensive line at Colorado State and outside linebacker for the Steelers. He was in his second pro season in 2000, when his son Joey Jr. was born back in his hometown.

While Porter became synonymous with Pittsburgh and the Steelers, he still retained a home in Bakersfield, and the younger Porter spent his time growing up between Pittsburgh and the San Joaquin Valley.

“As a kid, I spent a lot of time there,” Porter said. “I slowly stopped going to Bakersfield, just because of my schedule and what I was doing when I was in college. My (immediate) family lives here now. So we didn’t really have time to go back to Bakersfield, but that’s still always home for me. My phone number is still that area code. I’m always going to be repping Bakersfield.”

NFL players do not get much, if any, free time on road trips. So Porter’s ability to spend a lot of time with people from his hometown might be limited, but he is looking forward to the weather and the food, for sure.

“Family, the weather — always — my fast food spots,” he said. “Wienerschnitzel’s, if you know, that’s a fire spot. Just stuff like that, just get that hometown feel like when I was a kid. … I’m definitely excited to be back to the West Coast. I got a lot of family still out there. I’ve got some coming to the game. It’s going to be exciting.”

For many, Porter is the ultimate hometown Pittsburgher, but he’ll be living the other half of his double life under the palm trees and California sun this weekend, and after a week of practice in 40-degree drizzle, he doesn’t sound upset about it.

“It’s not going to be cold, so I’m definitely excited for that,” he said.

RELATED: Joey Porter Jr., Dad Share Special Moment after First Interception