Collinsville’s Coker carrying football talent to Huntingdon

Collinsville senior lineman Jordan Coker (seated center) signed a football scholarship with Huntingdon College on Thursday in the Collinsville gym. Sitting with Coker are his parents Beth Ann Williams and Paul Coker. Standing from left is Collinsville Assistant Principal Kim Osborn, Collinsville Head Football Coach Ernie Willingham, Collinsville Principal Bradley Crawford, and Collinsville Assistant Football Coach Tanner Nelson. Photo by Shannon Fagan.

By Shannon Fagan, WEIS Sports Director

COLLINSVILLE – Collinsville senior lineman Jordan Coker said he didn’t realize he had a chance to play college football until his sophomore year. He concentrated on the working in the weight room, getting bigger, faster, stronger, and soon the college interest began to peak.

But it wasn’t until Coker’s last college recruiting visit where he found a place similar to what he was used to at Collinsville.

Coker signed a scholarship with Division III Huntingdon College on Thursday morning. The 5-foot-10, 240-pound senior was one of the lead blockers for Panther all-purpose sensation Keaton DeBoard. DeBoard accumulated over 1,700 yards and 24 touchdowns last year as Collinsville went 8-3.

“I’m definitely excited to be a Huntingdon Hawk,” Coker said. “I’ve been really excited ever since I decided to go there. I just knew when I walked on campus this was going to be it. It was kind of a gut feeling. I’m just ready to get to work.”

Work is something Coker is definitely used to, according to Panther head coach Ernie Willingham.

“Jordan has been around our program it seems like forever,” Willingham said. “He played for six years, with five of those on the varsity. Myself, the coaches, the players and our whole school family are very proud of Jordan. He’s worked very hard to get to where he is today. We’re going to miss him on the field, but more importantly in the locker room and the weight room.”

Coker said Huntingdon’s hard-working nature fits his style just fine.

“They aren’t flashy with all the new equipment and new weight room stuff. They’re just all about going to work every day and winning championships. That’s what they do,” he said.

“They’re not promising anyone playing time. They want you to come in and take someone’s job. That’s the point of you playing college football. They don’t want you to sit on the bench your whole career. They want you to play. The message I received from them is just be ready to work, be a teammate. They’re a family up there.”

Speaking of family, it’s been a family tradition with the Cokers in Collinsville athletics. Jordan’s older brother Clay played on the Panther football team about 10 years ago. His cousin Nathan Coker went on to Birmingham Southern. Another family member, Rat Chandler, played baseball at Snead State.

Now it’s Jordan’s turn to take his talent to the next level.

“My family means a lot to me,” he said. “They push me to be competitive and everything that comes with that. My brother, dad, everybody has played here. It’s a family tradition at Collinsville. I hope Collinsville has enjoyed me being here. I can’t wait for the next chapter.

“It’s going to be hard to replace this family I have here, but just from my recruiting trips and everything I can tell it’s really a family there at Huntingdon, from the coaches and the players. I’m really excited for it.”

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