WESLEY CHAPEL — They came to the front of the Wiregrass Ranch media center Wednesday afternoon three, four, sometimes five at a time, waiting to take a picture, share a laugh or a dap with one of the greatest athletes of the school's history — Jordan Miner. And the senior patiently stood there smiling during each snap of the shutter or hug from family, coaches, teachers, friends and rivals alike. Ten minutes passed, then 20, then 30 and the smile never wavered and each person who stepped up was treated like he or she was the most important friend in Miner's life.
That is the gift of Miner — making all the people around him feel as if it was their special day as well. While the school was celebrating Miner, who officially signed his letter of intent to play football at Penn State, it was Miner who made it a celebration for everyone in attendance.
Miner is special both on and off the football field, basketball court or track as the packed media center showed.
"The biggest thing about Jordan is he's humble," said Wiregrass Ranch basketball coach Jeremy Calzone. "In this day and age, it would be easy for him to walk around here like he's the man and act like a complete jerk. He didn't do that. That's my favorite thing about him.
"I know he's going to be in for great things. He's got great character. He can do everything he wants on the football field but for me his character is what makes him great. I'm proud to know him because of his character."
His stats and accolades on the football field aren't too shabby either.
Miner had 39 tackles, four interceptions and five pass breakups this season. But that's not all he did.
Miner completed 5-of-7 passes with a touchdown, rushed for 432 yards and six scores, and averaged 17.9 yards on 17 receptions to go with three more scores as Wiregrass Ranch had the best season in school history, making it to the second round of the Class 8A playoffs.
"He makes plays at memorable moments," football coach Mark Kantor said. "He has a swagger about him, the aura of him believing in himself to know that he is going to make a play at this point and time. With that, it's just tremendous the type of person he is. How everyone in the school and the community loves him. Now Penn State is going to have a great addition.
"That dude there is talented," Kantor said. "If he stays healthy and does everything he's supposed to do, you're going to see him on Sundays (playing in the NFL)."
But that's a little ways down the road. Miner still has things to do at Wiregrass, including taking more pictures and talking with Wesley Chapel High's Isaiah Bolden, who came by to watch his friend sign, as well as some friends from his youth football days.
"It's really surreal," Miner said. "I've built a lot of relationships through football and to see them here to watch me sign, it's big."