By Ben Robinson
COVINGTON — Three years ago when Jordan Wolfe walked into the Covington High School weight room for the first time with intentions to go out for the Buccaneer football team, he had no idea of what he was getting into.
Sure, he played pee wee and junior high football, but sat out his freshman year to pursue other interests.
“I didn’t have a clue,” said Jordan, reflecting on that day. “I didn’t have any expectations or a bar to achieve. I was kind of talked into playing by some buddies.”
And Buccaneer coach Dave Miller didn’t know what to expect either.
“He was way behind,” said Miller of when Wolfe joined the team as a sophomore. “You can’t count any kid out, but he had a steep hill to climb.”
Wolfe climbed that hill and what transpired over three seasons was anything short of amazing as he went from a clumsy, uncoordinated kid to being named one of the best Division VII football players in the state of Ohio as a senior.
It also led to a future opportunity to play football at Bluffton University, an opportunity Wolfe accepted recently with his family and Buccaneer coach Dave Miller by his side.
“I never would have expected this,” said Wolfe of his high school football career and the opportunity to play football at the collegiate level. “Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would be going to play college football.”
Looking back, Wolfe felt the turning point for him as a high school football player was when he bought into the team concept that has been the staple of the Buccaneer program under Dave Miller.
“Once I got into the program, I quickly realized it wasn’t about me,” he said. “It was about playing for your teammates and when that became my focus I started to realize my potential. It was tough, but it changed me.”
And Miller witnessed the change first hand.
“I remember us coaches having a discussion about how we were going to replace Sam Christian after he graduated,” Miller explained. “We weren’t sure about Jordan, but the light went off in his head and he worked his tail off. He took over that position his junior year and never looked back.”
Wolfe’s transition was a swift one.
He played sparingly at the junior varsity level as a sophomore and shocked many by not only earning a starting job at guard as a junior, but turning himself into one the Buccs’ best drive blockers by season’s end - a trait that was essential in Covington’s triple-option attack that put up school record numbers on the ground in 2012.
After a surprising junior season, Wolfe was dominant his senior year, earning CCC Lineman of the Year honors and being named First Team All-Ohio in Division VII.
“What made the difference in Jordan was he bought in,” emphasized Miller. “He cared more about his buddies on the team more than himself. He wouldn’t have cared if he wasn’t All-Ohio. All he cared about was the team and if he keeps that type of attitude, he’ll be successful.”
Wolfe will need that attitude as he will have to learn a new scheme in college, blocking in the spread offense instead of the triple option he is accustom too.
“It will be different, but I’m ready to learn,” Wolfe said. “At Covington it was about getting off the ball, staying low and running your feet. They (Bluffton) have already told me it will be more about reads, more pass blocking.”
It’s been a long journey for Wolfe to get to where he is, but he’s had a lot of support along the way.
“You know, my family has supported me so much,” said Jordan. “My mom (Heather), my dad (Jeremy), my sister (Meredith), my grandpa and grandpa (Ed and Carolyn Wolfe), I wouldn’t be where I am without them. All the people who have supported me in the community too like Glen (Hollopeter), my uncle Ben (Wolfe), (Lee) Donnan - they’ve helped me out a lot.”
And so has his coach, Dave Miller.
“I owe a lot to Coach Miller,” he continued. “He pushed me to be the best I can be. There were times, especially that first year, where I thought maybe this (football) isn’t for me. But I’m glad I stuck it out because I had so much fun. It goes by so fast.”
And now another opportunity at Bluffton is around the corner.