WESLEY CHAPEL – Even though Wiregrass Ranch cornerback Jordan Miner just turned 15 in November this kid can do just about everything you ask of him and more. He has great instincts and his speed helps him hang with the best of them.
Miner, a 6’1″, 180-pounder became a full-time starter for the Bulls as a sophomore, totaling 46 tackles, four pass breakups, an interception, a blocked field goal and a kick return for a touchdown in seven starts.
An ankle injury suffered after the first two games of the season kept Miner out of the next three matchups, but he ended up starting the final five games. As a freshman, he had 20 tackles, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery in five games.
In a 46-3 win over Wesley Chapel in the second game of last season, Miner took back a kick return 93 yards for his first career touchdown. The rising junior is set to be the starter once again at cornerback while contributing as a slot receiver and the team’s primary kick returner.
Playing at 165 lbs. at the end of last season, Miner is already thicker and stronger in his upper body. He wants to continue to get stronger and faster.
Less than two weeks ago on Apr. 27, Miner earned his first offer from Toledo. Eight other schools have shown interest in him at cornerback including, South Carolina, Florida, Florida Atlantic, South Florida, Florida State, Auburn, North Carolina and Clemson.
He says Toledo, Florida, South Florida and Florida State all intrigue him the most. Spending the first four years of his life in Ohio, Miner has family there and says Toledo is a school he really likes. He visited UF, USF, FSU and FAU this past season and likes the idea of staying in Florida for college. His brother, Jaye is a rising sophomore linebacker at FAU.
Since Wiregrass Ranch started its football program in 2007, a year after opening the school officially, the team has had only one winning season (2010) when they went 6-5 and won the district crown.
Over the last two years, the Bulls have had three different coaches, Mike Lawrence (left in the summer of 2014), Artie Meza (departed after the 2014 season) and now Mark Kantor. Miner says it’s been tough having three coaches in that short of a time, but it is something he can’t control.
“It’s been tough learning different techniques from the different coaches. One coach tells you one thing and the other coach says something else. The one positive is that it has been a pretty good adjustment seeing what they all have to say.”
Kantor is entering his 14th season as a high school head coach after serving as the man in charge at Hudson (2012-14) and Gaither over the previous nine seasons. His first year at Wiregrass Ranch didn’t go as planned as the team went 2-8 with injuries piling up. Miner has total faith in Kantor’s plan.
“In my opinion, I like him [Kantor] the best because he’s a player’s coach. He wants to know what you’re thinking. He’s been coaching over 20 years so he knows a ton.”
In terms of a bounceback season this fall, Miner says having health back on their side will do the team wonders.
“We will turn it around this year. We had a good amount of starters hurt last year, but we have key guys coming back. Most of our returners were juniors or sophomores last season.”
His focus right now is to whatever he needs to do to get wins for his team. Miner said: “If that is by me playing offense, defense and special teams I’ll do whatever. We’re trying to get to the playoffs this season.”
On top of his duties as a starting cornerback, Miner has the versatility to play free safety. He enjoys playing wide receiver as well because he says he sees it as an advantage since he understands defenses so well.
Due to his dad’s job being transferred to Florida, Miner and his family made the long haul from Canton, Ohio to Wesley Chapel 11 years ago. That’s when Miner first started playing football and he quickly started to enjoy it going up against five and six-year-olds.
“Playing older kids made me adjust. They play much more aggressively. I liked that there was a lot of contact. It is a sport that you can actually tackle people without getting in trouble.”
Miner began as an offensive lineman before switching to quarterback rather quickly, a position he played up until high school. He says playing quarterback has helped him become a smarter player overall.
“At quarterback, you find out what the cornerbacks and safeties are doing. When I’m at cornerback I can see what the quarterback is looking at.”
At age seven, Miner says that’s when he truly gained confidence playing the game of football in his first season as a quarterback.
Playing for Team Tampa U-18 is something that certainly helps Miner’s progress and chances of being noticed by college programs. Under head coach Woodrow Grady, Miner plays free safety for the 7-on-7 squad. The team most recently traveled to Las Vegas and Tallahassee for tournaments. Dante Fowler, Veron Hargreaves III and Nelson Agholor are just a few of the great players that have come from Team Tampa.
Miner says his biggest strengths right now are his footwork and football IQ. He loves using his knowledge to his advantage as both a corner and slot receiver. One thing he knows he has to improve is his open field tackling.
One NFL player that Miner watches closely on and off the field is Cam Newton. He calls the 2015 NFL MVP his biggest role model.
“I look up to him [Newton] because his attitude and swagger and the way he prepares and plays the game. I just want to bring that to my game.”
With two years left of high school football, Miner still has a ton of room to grow but he says his ultimate goal is to get to college and earn his degree, then hopefully make it to the NFL. He wants to study business management and sports marketing in college.
My main takeaway from my talk with Miner is that he’ll do anything to contribute. He’s one of those players that wants to play as much as possible and succeed every time he steps onto the field wherever he lines up.
I think as a pure cover cornerback that’s where he will succeed the most. His agility helps him perform well as a receiver and returner. Miner is a guy that everybody needs to pay attention this season as he steps into his junior campaign.
Favorite NFL players – Josh Norman, Joe Haden, Patrick Peterson
Playlist before games – Lil Wayne
Favorite movie – Remember The Titans
Favorite TV shows – Family Guy
Fun fact about you, no one knows – “I’m supposed to be a grade younger, so I started high school when I was 13.”
Favorite nickname – “Uno”
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.