Wiregrass Ranch High (WRH) football star Jordan Miner, one of the top players in the Tampa Bay area and arguably Pasco County’s best, is taking his talents to the Big Ten. Miner, a rising senior defensive back for the Bulls, announced on July 6, during a live broadcast on Spectrum Sports, that he would play college football for Penn State University.
Miner will make it binding in February on National Signing Day, and next summer will return to a region of the country where most of his family still lives.
“Well, 95 percent of our family is within a couple hours of Penn State,” Jordan’s father, John Miner, said. “Penn State felt like a family atmosphere and Coach (James) Franklin was very engaged throughout the process.”
Rated a 4-Star recruit by the 247Sports recruiting service, Miner had 29 college scholarship offers, including 10 from Southeastern Conference teams and five from the Big Ten and Atlantic Coast Conference.
Penn State, the Big Ten champions last year, went 11-3 and were ranked as high as No. 5 in the country before losing a 52-49 thriller to USC in the Rose Bowl.
Mark Tate, a Penn State alum, connected Miner to Coach Franklin. Tate was Miner’s AAU track coach in elementary school, when Miner lived in Ohio, and was an assistant coach on the Team Tampa 7-on-7 team that won the under-15 national title in 2016. Miner was one of the standouts on that team.
“I’ve known Coach Tate since I was a kid,” Miner said. “I knew he played for Penn State but I didn’t know much about the program.”
Even though he’s entering his senior year, Miner won’t turn 17 until the end of this football season. He started grade school in Ohio, where if a student turned 5 during the course of the school year, they could start kindergarten. He’s always been one of the youngest players on the field and in the back yard.
Football is in his blood, as brother Jaye, also a former WRH standout, is playing for Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
Jordan was called up to the WRH varsity team at age 13, after he scored five TDs in his second junior varsity game. “When you’re 13 on varsity you’re not as physical as the other kids,’’ Miner said. “So you have to outsmart them and learn the game better than anyone else.”
Despite his age, Miner used his speed and agility to become one of the team’s top DBs, receivers and return specialists. In an October 8 game last season against Wharton, Miner scored on a 53-yard touchdown reception, and then returned an interception 95 yards for a TD.
Two days later, he received a text message from PSU defensive backs coach Terry Smith. Smith made an offer, Miner posted the news on Twitter and, “it blew up from there.”
Miner has scored on a run, pass, interception return and kick return. “Jordan is the ultimate team player,” WRH head coach Mark Kantor said. “He gets us up and motivated to play at a high level, and he made a great choice to play for Franklin and Penn State.”
The Bulls visit Clearwater Central Catholic for the Pre-Season Classic on Friday, August 18, and then open the regular season at home against Zephyrhills High on August 25.