Among the premier talents from the 2024 class is RB Porter Rode, who was recently named to the Youth1's first ever Next Up Watchlist. The Next Up Watchlist is a list designed to highlight the rising stars from the 7th grade around the country.
"I feel honored," Rode told Youth1.com about being named to the Next Up Watchlist.
"I am super thankful and proud to be considered. There are lots of great players right here in Indiana, let alone the country. It’s exciting to be on Youth1’s radar of the best," he added.
Making the Next Up Watchlist is a testament to the talent Rode has. Rode has the ability to play a variety of positions and always makes a significant impact on the game.
For Rode, the aggressive nature of football and the brotherhood it breeds drives him.
"I love that being aggressive is good. It fits my personality for sure. I also love how close I feel to my teammates when we’re on the field. I play other sports but the brotherhood in football is like nothing else," Rode said.
Standing at 5'7" 145 lbs., Rode is a playmaker, simple and plain. He's dynamic with the ball in his hands and always a threat to break the game open. He shines carrying the rock out of the backfield and returning punts. He's a nightmare to handle in the open field. His ability to breakaway for big gains is impressive.
Most importantly, Rode is a versatile athlete that can help his team on offense, defense, and special teams. He plays Running Back, Linebacker, Safety, and Kicker.
"I enjoy having the ball as a running back, open field moves and long runs are a lot of fun," Rode said.
"On defense I enjoy pass coverage and jumping pass routes. As a kicker, I really love having an impact on the game with field position and scoring points. And I usually don’t get hit when I’m kicking," he added.
The Westfield, IN native most recently played for Westfield Middle School and Team Indiana.
Some of Rode's recent successes include:
- Over 5500 yards from scrimmage and over 100 total TDs over the last two seasons.
- Indiana All-State, North All-Star and Indiana Academic All-State (x2) Team Indiana (x2)
- NFL PPK Indiana State Champion (x3)
- (Westfield) - IEFA Conference Champs, Middle School HCC Conference Champs, Battle in Rocky Top Champs, Indy Crossroads Champs.
- (Team Indiana) – Pro Football HOF World Youth Champs, Battle in Rocky Top Champs
- Teams combined have a have a 44-4 record over last two seasons.
Rode believes that his game is progressing a great rate.
"I know that God gave me speed. In previous seasons I’ve relied on that a lot in running around and away from defenses. I’ve really tried to progress with the physical element; getting up field, finding space and taking what I can get. I’ve worked on finishing runs strong. I’ve had great coaches who have helped me to focus on the next level of my position," Rode said.
"I’ve progressed in making cuts at the line of scrimmage, overall footwork and better technique for ball security. As a kicker, I’ve worked on having a consistent kicking motion and kicking more under defensive pressure," he added.
Speaking of his strengths on the field, Rode believes his field vision and speed are his two biggest strengths.
"Offensively, they help me to anticipate space, set up blocks and change gears when needed. My ability to burst and get up to speed in the first ten yards is helpful. Defensively, I’m able to recognize sets and patterns, anticipate where the ball is going and get there fast," Rode said.
One focus area of improvement for Rode is his defense, where he's currently in somewhat of a transition period as he learns to play Safety. He also wants to work on improving his nutrition intake.
'On defense I’ve always played linebacker but now transitioning to safety. I am working most to improve my footwork in coverage from that position," Rode said.
"I’m starting to strength train and thinking about nutrition for the first time. I’ve always been such a picky eater, so I think the nutrition part will be the toughest part! I’m also working on running harder and finishing at the end of plays. All-stars has really helped me with that. When there are great athletes all over the field, it forces you to take your play up a notch," he added.
2024 RB/DB Porter Rode is among the rising stars from the 2024 class. Being named to Youth1's Next Up Watchlist is one of many accolades sure to be coming Rode's way in the near future. His continued development is going to be exciting to watch over the next few years.
To view the entire Next Up Watchlist, click -> here.
For more on Porter Rode, check out his Youth1 Player Profile -> here.
View his highlights below.
Youth1’s Recruiting Counselors are on a mission to educate student-athletes and families about the recruiting process. The process starts early and is very competitive so we want to make sure we do whatever we can for families interested in learning more about the college athletic recruiting process. We’re here to answer your questions and provide guidance through the important decisions that will shape your athlete's journey in sports.
Enter your information below to speak to a Youth1 Recruiting Counselor.