PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There are a lot of NFL guys that come from rural areas. But few of them are appreciated more than Buffalo’s Jordan Poyers — especially in Astoria.
Poyer, now in his 8th NFL season, remains one of the most underrated safeties in the game. But his journey to the league came with a ton of dedication that was unmatched.
“He’s just such a student of the game, prepares like no other. That’s part of the competitiveness, how you have to prepare to be great,” said his high school coach Howard Rub. “It’s not a coincidence that he’s at where he’s at.”
Poyer was an instant hit in Astoria. It didn’t matter what the sport was and it started at an early age.
“The crowd went nuts, huge roar,” Rub recalled about one specific early day. “All the coaches walked onto the berm to see what was going on. Jordan as a 4th grader was putting on a show. Just threw it about 50 yards in the air. So, yeah, I’d say early on we knew he was going to be pretty special.”
His journey began as far northwest as you can go in Oregon.
“Jordan, growing up in a small school and growing up in a community like this, the statement that ‘it takes a village to raise a kid’ is so true,” said his dad, Fa’Alaeo Poyer. “From every sport — golf to baseball to basketball, very coachable and competitive. Did not want to lose.”
Jordan Poyer also had a promising future in baseball. He led the Astoria Fishermen to bookend state championships in his freshman and senior seasons, then was drafted by the Florida Marlins. His dad said it was good for him to have options.
Football was ultimately where Poyer’s heart was and, in hindsight, it was the right choice. He was a standout, decorated athlete at Oregon State and became a consensus All-American. His confidence in his skills was recognized by others early on.
“When he was here he reminded us of a high school version of Michael Jordan,” Rub said. “The stories about MJ being so competitive. Having all that talent but having all that competitiveness to go with it. And I saw that in him. That’s why it was easy for me to sell it to them and NFL teams. His competitiveness is pretty unique. That’s what really helped separate him.”
His dad said he wouldn’t trade coming from Astoria for anything. “That’s Jordan’s story. That chip on his shoulder, it’s probably a mountain now.”
And his dad added the love and support from Astoria “is awesome. Of course, he loves where he is from. So you know, rep it.”