Penn Hills’ Derrell Porter commits to play football at Dartmouth

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 5:54 PM

With National Signing Day fast approaching, some WPIAL football players are still announcing their verbal commitments.

Penn Hills defensive tackle Derrell Porter added himself to the list Jan. 20, as he made a verbal commitment to play football at Dartmouth, a prestigious NCAA Division FCS Ivy League school.

Porter was mulling offers from West Virginia Wesleyan and Lake Erie College before receiving an offer from Dartmouth on his official visit Jan. 19.

“I like the coaches,” he said. “They seem like they will look out for the players and help them grow as players and people. Some coaches are just straight football, but they want to see you grow as a person.”

During his senior season, Porter received first-team all-conference honors after finishing fourth on the team with 75 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss and one sack.

“He has been instrumental in restoring the pride and tradition at Penn Hills,” coach Jon LeDonne said. “He has been a leader for us, and he’s going to leave a big void that we’re going to have to replace with underclassmen trying to fill in that hole.”

Porter had two hurries on the season and finished with one forced fumbled and fumble recovery.

The Indians (10-2, 7-0) lost to McKeesport, 35-20, in the WPIAL Class 5A quarterfinals.

“He’s a good, hard working, smart kid and he’s going to play very physical. He’s not going to back down from the challenge. He’s going to face it head on and give it all he has,” LeDonne said.

Porter, a 6-foot-1, 240-pound lineman, first fell in love with football when his father would take him to the local field at 5 years old to play football.

However, Porter experienced his toughest loss when his grandmother passed away early in high school. Porter used her passing as fuel to make a better life for himself and his family.

“That was everybody’s rock. She was matriarch of the family and everybody was sad. Everything I do is for her,” Porter said.

“I just want to make it out. I want to put my family on the map.”

Porter is joining a Big Green team that was crowned Ivy League champion after a 9-1 season with a 6-1 record in the Ivy League. Dartmouth defeated Brown, 29-23, to clinch a share of the title with Yale.

“I got to go in there and learn everything they are doing. Once I learn the system, I will be ready to go,” Porter said.

One aspect Porter is looking to improve on is his speed if he wants to compete at the next level.

With National Signing Day set for Feb. 5, the Penn Hills program will anxiously wait to see where some key seniors such as defensive backs Tony Grimes, Aakeem Snell and Dylan Bennett will play at the collegiate level. The trio received first-team all-conference honors this season.

Defensive end S’qy Featherstone, guard Rahmir Moore-Tucker, running back Germar Howard, defensive end Donovan Carpenter and other seniors also are mulling their college options.


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