CUERO, Texas -- Less than 7,000 people reside in Cuero, Texas, but one is also one of the best high school football players in the country.
Five-star recruit Jordan Whittington commited to the University of Texas this spring, and is currently the third highest ranked high school football player in the state of Texas. He's also also the country's fourth highest-ranked wide receiver and recently nabbed the 22nd spot on Rivals list of the top 100 players of the class of 2019.
“It’s a blessing, but I just stay humble because I know how great people are, and when I get to college that means nothing," Whittington said.
He's back to practice after undergoing groin surgery in May, which required six weeks of rest. While recovering on the sidelines, Cuero High School's 7-on-7 football team qualified for this weekend's upcoming state tournament.
“It’s cool watching it from the outside because you get to see everybody and what they’re doing," Whittington said. "I think they’re developing real well."
He's been cleared to practice, but a decision has not be made regarding Whittington's status for the tournament. He comes from a long line of Cuero football players. His father played for the fighting Gobblers and so did his uncle, who went on to play in a Super Bowl for the Oakland Raiders.
But despite his family history, he started playing football just because he enjoyed the game.
“When I first started it was like everybody’s doing it, I’m going to do it too, when I was little," Whittington said. "And I saw what I could be, I saw the potential, when I was in like 7th grade, so I took it serious then.”
"Well, there's been nine guys that have played in the NFL from here, from this small town. So, there's been a lot of tradition here," said Travis Reeve, Cuero High School head football coach.
The rising senior now gets to enjoy his final season at Cuero without the recruiting circus.
"Pretty much relieved because that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about and that was a big thing I had going on, so now I can really focus on my senior year and doing everything that I need to do," Whittington said.
But despite going from a small town 4-A school to competing for a team with one of the most intense fanbases in college football, he has nerves of steel.
"I'm really not nervous for him," Reeve said. "You know, he's going to Texas, all eyes on Texas, and all eyes are on the Gobblers while you're here."
“Living in Cuero everybody nows me so there’s no fame and stuff like that but when I go far away all these people like shake my hand and take pictures and stuff so it’s cool," Whittington said.
Whittington definitely isn’t exaggerating about everyone in Cuero knowing his name. Every person who hears his name seems to want to comment on how great of a kid his is, how hard he works in school or how their husband played high school football with Whittington’s uncle.