Larry Porter, a former standout running back at Memphis, enters his fifth season as LSU’s running backs coach in 2009. Porter spent three years with Les Miles at Oklahoma State before joining Miles in Baton Rouge in 2005.
In addition to his duties as LSU’s running backs coach, Porter serves in two other key roles on the staff – assistant head coach and chief recruiter. Porter was elevated to the position of assistant head coach during the spring of 2006. He’s twice (2007 and 2009) been named as the National Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com making him one of the top all-around assistant coaches in college football.
As LSU’s running backs coach, Porter has helped developed some of the finest players at that position in school history. In four years with the Tigers, LSU has produced a 1,000-yard rusher twice ? Jacob Hester 1,103 yards in 2007 and Charles Scott 1,174 yards in 2008 ? as well as having two players (Hester and Joseph Addai) selected in the NFL Draft.
In 2008, LSU again had one of the top running games in the SEC as the Tigers rushed for 166.8 yards per game with Scott getting the bulk of the carries (1,174 yards on 217 attempts). Scott, who earned first-team All-SEC in 2008, and Keiland Williams (417 yards, 2 TDs on 83 attempts) gave the Tigers one of the top 1-2 rushing punches in the league last year.
Porter and the Tigers had a running back-by-committee approach during the national championship season in 2007 with Hester leading all rushers with a career-best 1,103 yards and 11 TDs. Hester, who was a second-team All-SEC selection, had four 100-yard rushing games, including a 120-yard effort against Tennessee in the SEC Championship Game. Williams was second on the squad with 478 yards and six scores, while Trindon Holliday was third with 364 yards and two TDs. Five LSU running backs scored at least two rushing TDs in 2007.
As a unit, LSU rushed for 214.1 yards per game and 35 touchdowns. The 214.1 yards per game and 35 rushing touchdowns both ranked second in the SEC. Another impressive feat for the Tiger running backs was the fact that they combined for 432 carries in 2007 with just one lost fumble, which came against Tennessee in the SEC title game.
Following the 2007 season, Hester was picked in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. Hester became the fourth running back coached by Porter that has been selected among the first three rounds of the NFL Draft since 2004.
In 2006, Porter juggled running backs as the Tigers started four different players, including two true freshmen, at tailback. In 13 games, the Tigers had five different running backs lead the team in rushing. Hester led the Tigers in rushing with 440 yards and six scores. Hester added another 269 yards and three touchdowns on 35 receptions, which ranked as the third-highest total for a running back in school history.
A pair of true freshmen in Scott and Williams also burst onto the scene during the 2006 season, giving the Tigers a glimpse of the future as they combined for 713 yards and 10 TDs. Williams capped his first season with the Tigers in a big way, rushing for 107 yards and a pair of scores in LSU’s 41-14 win over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl.
As a unit, the Tigers ranked second in the SEC in rushing in 2006 with 165.8 yards per game. The Tigers also had 25 rushing TDs, a figure that ranked No. 2 in the league.
In his first year with the team in 2005, Porter made an immediate impact on LSU’s running game as the Tigers, despite losing perhaps the top runner in the SEC in Alley Broussard to a knee injury in mid-August, still managed to rush for 1,951 yards and 21 touchdowns. LSU’s rushing offense ranked fourth in the SEC, while the 21 rushing TDs was the second-highest total in the league.
Addai had his best year in a Tiger uniform, rushing for 911 yards and nine touchdowns; while Justin Vincent added 488 yards and five scores. Addai had five 100-yard rushing games, capped by a 130-yard, one-TD performance in LSU’s 40-3 win over Miami in the Peach Bowl. He went on to become a first round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in the 2006 NFL Draft, becoming the first LSU running back taken in the first round of the NFL Draft since Harvey Williams was the 21st overall pick by the Chiefs in 1991. Addai was a finalist for NFL Rookie of the Year in 2006 and played a key role in the Colts’ Super Bowl victory over the Chicago Bears.
At Oklahoma State, Porter’s stable of running backs continued the tradition of “Tailback U.”, as he coached 1,000-yard rushers for three straight seasons. In 2004, Vernand Morency earned second-team All-Big 12 honors after rushing for 1,474 yards, which ranked eighth in the nation, and 12 touchdowns. Morency was a third round pick of the Houston Texans in 2005.
A year earlier, Tatum Bell earned first-team All-Big 12 honors with 1,286 yards and 16 touchdowns. Bell and Morency combined for 2,204 yards and 24 TDs for the Cowboys in 2003. Bell then went on to become a second round draft pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2004 NFL Draft. In his first season at OSU, Porter guided Bell to a 1,096-yard, 11-TD season for 8-5 Oklahoma State.
Prior to his arrival in Stillwater, Porter spent three years at Arkansas State, where he coached Jonathan Adams to back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Adams rushed for 1,004 yards and six touchdowns in 2000 and followed that with another 1,004 yards and five scores in 2001.
Under Porter’s tutelage, Adams capped his career as the second-leading rusher in Arkansas State history.
Porter began his coaching career at Wooddale High School in Memphis, Tenn., serving as head track and field coach, while assisting with the running backs and secondary on the football squad. After two years at Wooddale, Porter moved to the collegiate ranks, coaching the running backs at Tennessee-Martin in 1998.
During his playing days, Porter was a four-year letterwinner at Memphis where he was co-captain of the 1993 Tiger squad. Porter capped his career as the fourth-leading rusher in Memphis history, totaling 2,194 yards and 20 touchdowns. Porter’s 2,194 rushing yards currently ranks No. 6 in Memphis history, while his 20 rushing TDs is fourth all-time at the school. In all, Porter led the Tigers in rushing yards for three years during his career.
As a rookie in 1990, Porter rushed for 206 yards against Arkansas State, the highest single-game total for a freshman in school history. Porter had a total of six 100-yard games during his career, a figure that ranks fourth in Memphis history.
Porter graduated from Memphis in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in education. A native of Jackson, Miss., Porter and his wife Sharmane have three children, Brandon, Omari and Olivia.
The Porter File
Year at LSU: Fifth
Birthdate: April 28, 1972, in Jackson, Miss.
Children: Brandon, Omari, Olivia
High School: Columbus (Ga.)
College: Memphis, ’96
1990-93 Memphis (running back)
1998 Tennessee-Martin (running backs)
1999-2001 Arkansas State (running backs)
2002-2004 Oklahoma State (running backs)
2005- LSU (running backs; assistant head coach, 2006)
As a coach
2002 Houston Bowl (Oklahoma State def. Southern Miss, 33-23)
2004 Cotton Bowl (Oklahoma State lost to Ole Miss, 31-28)
2004 Alamo Bowl (Oklahoma State lost to Ohio State, 33-7)
2005 Peach Bowl (LSU def. Miami, 40-3)
2007 Sugar Bowl (LSU def. Notre Dame, 41-14)
2008 BCS National Championship Game (LSU def. Ohio State, 38-24)
2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl (LSU def. Georgia Tech, 38-3)