The last time Amite High played in the Class 3A state title game, Brad Porter was a freshman and a backup noseguard. Porter’s older brother, Reginald Porter Jr., was the Warriors’ star quarterback and an all-state defensive back.

Those facts made what AHS defensive coordinator Dwayne Davis said after the Warriors lost to St. Charles Catholic 9-8 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in 2011 a bit of a surprise.

“I remember exactly what I told Brad,” Davis said. “I said, ‘What would you think if I told you that you can be the best Porter to play at Amite.’ He was surprised … I could see it on his face.

“He’s done everything he can to make that happen. He’s a different player than his brother or his dad. I knew physically he’d grow and develop. He’s worked hard, but the big thing is he’s confident now.”

Porter helps lead a stingy defense for the Warriors (11-2), who face Livonia High (13-0), in the Class 3A title game that opens Saturday’s action at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Prep Classic.

“I was a backup when I was freshman,” Porter recalls. “I got to be part of that season but I didn’t play a lot.

“Being able to play in the finals again was a goal, not just for me but for the team. We’ve stuck together this year.”

The 6-foot-2, 245-pound Porter has 72 tackles, 25 sacks and 28 tackles for losses as a defensive end. Not only is he confident, he’s also healthy. A year ago he played part of the season with a broken wrist, something that forced coaches to move him to linebacker.

“We had to play Brad out of position last year,” Amite head coach Alden Foster said. “With the broken wrist, he couldn’t put his hand on the ground. He’s always worked hard, but he worked real hard this offseason. You can see a difference in the way he looks and plays. He’s strong and quick.”

Foster knows plenty about the Porter family. Reginald Porter Sr. and the Amite head coach were teammates at Southern University. Reginald Porter Jr., the star of the 2011 team, is now a sophomore defensive back at Utah.

“My brother gives me tips about how to play and workout,” Porter said. “He always tells me to keep working and never give up.”

Davis said that resolve came through last year when the Warriors lost 40-0 to eventual state champion Union Parish in the semifinals.

“In a game like that a lot of kids give up, but not Brad,” Davis, now in his sixth year at the school, said. “He went full speed on every play.”

Davis praised Porter for the way he has reshaped his body through weight training and conditioning.

In addition to working out with the Warriors, Davis said Porter did additional workouts with who father, one of the parents who regularly attends Amite practices.

Porter has attracted the interest of Southeastern, Alcorn, Southern Mississippi, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He says he’ll consider colleges after Saturday’s title game.

Interestingly, some players would use a loss like that one to Union Parish as motivation. Porter hasn’t.

“I had to let that go,” Porter said of the Union Parish loss. “It’s a different year. We’re making the most of it.”