Freshman Deiondre Porter had a prolific career as a quarterback at Jefferson High School in Tampa, but college coaches, including Will Muschamp, thought his skill set would be best used as a defensive back. Now, as fall camp begins, Porter will try to learn techniques and tricks of the trade as he makes that transition. Sharing number 27 with fellow DB Ben Peacock likely means Porter will redshirt as he figures out the change.
Playing three seasons for Jefferson’s varsity squad, Porter put up some impressive numbers as a dual-threat QB. His sophomore season, he threw for 1,890 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions while completing 61.1 percent of his passes. He also contributed on the ground with 138 yards and two TDs on 37 carries.
Porter showed improvement from his sophomore to junior season. He had the highest completion percentage of his career at 61.3 percent, while completing 157-of-256 passes for 2,276 yards, 27 TDs, and 13 INTs. His ground game also improved, as Porter rushed for 398 yards and five touchdowns on 84 carries. After the season he began getting interest from major college programs.
After committing to USF during the summer between his junior and senior seasons, Porter had an outstanding campaign for the Dragons. He earned Class 6A All-State First Team, Tampa Bay Times All-Suncoast Offensive Player of the Year, and Tampa Tribune Male Athlete of the Year for his success on the field. Porter led the entire talent-rich state of Florida in total yards with 4,698 yards and 53 touchdowns. He dramatically improved his statistics in both the passing and running game. Porter threw for 3,199 yards, 33 TDs, and only eight interceptions. On the ground, he ran for 1,499 yards and 20 touchdowns as he showed the speed and athleticism necessary to convert to a defensive back.
His big senior season along with his 6-0, 165 pound frame and 4.38 40-yard dash speed made Porter a hot commodity to major colleges. 247Sports composite ratings had him as a three-star prospect, ranked as the 68th athlete, 181st Floridian, and 1,296th player overall. He decided to flip to Florida from USF two weeks before signing day while also holding offers from Miami, Rutgers, and UCF.
Now Porter embarks on a new journey. Jefferson High School has a rich tradition of churning out great players, including the Gators’ own HS-QB-turned-WR Reche Caldwell and South Carolina’s Stephen Garcia. Porter will likely take a redshirt this year as he learns the nuances of playing defensive back. But come next season, don’t be surprised if you see number 27 in the Orange and Blue doing good things on the defensive side of the ball.