Monday, May 18, 2009
Former South Carolina State All-America defensive end and National Football League standout Robert Porcher is among eight persons scheduled for induction May 18 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
The ceremony gets underway with a reception and memorabilia silent auction at 5:30 p.m. The event is a sellout.
Porcher, a Mount Pleasant native, was a standout defensive lineman for the Bulldogs in the early 90s after transferring from Tennessee State. As a senior in 1991, he started every position on the defensive line for SC State. He recorded 88 tackles, with a league-leading 15 sacks and 24 tackles for loss.
He also earned All-America honors from the Poor Man’s Guide to the NFL and Kodak, and was named the Division I-AA Defensive Player of the Year by the NFL Draft Report.
He made history at his alma mater in 1992 when he became the first SC State player to be drafted number one in the NFL as he was taken in the first-round by the Detroit Lions, the 26th pick overall.
Porcher went on to a standout, 13-year career with Detroit where he became one of the NFL’s most productive and feared defensive ends. He led the Lions in sacks eight times and retired as Detroit’s all-times sack leader in 2004.
Along the way, he started 155 of his team’s 162 regular-season contests and played in three Pro Bowls.
He also became a pillar of the Detroit community, winning numerous service awards, including Father of the Year in 2000. He was also named the Lions’ NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, the only NFL award which recognizes both on and off the field excellence.
In addition to being the only NFL first-round draftee at SC State, where he earned a criminal justice degree in 1992, Porcher was inducted into the Hall of Fame at his alma mater in 1998, had his jersey (#94) retired in 2001 and was named to the Bulldog Centennial Football Team in 2007.
In addition to Porcher, the 2009 Class of the SC Athletic Hall of Fame includes Ty Cline (baseball), Clemson; Bobby Giles (coach), Olympia High School; Skip Harlicka-Jack Thompson (basketball), USC; Sylvia Hatchell (coach), Francis Marion and UNC; Herman Helms, deceased (Sports editor, The State), and Cotton Owens (driver-crew chief), NASCAR.