This article was originally published in the Monrovia Weekly.
Mario Minor is not a typical cornerback.
The 6-foot-1 defensive back/wide receiver from Monrovia High School doesn’t like to boast about his speed or skills. He likes to let his play do the talking. “I feel like I’m a pretty humble person,” Minor said. “I just want to succeed but I don’t want to brag about it like that.”
Minor transferred from Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga last year. After playing his freshman and sophomore years at Etiwanda, he helped Monrovia to a strong season where they made it to the first round of the CIF-SS Division Nine tournament. Minor said the transition went well.
“I made a lot of good friends. Everybody here is really welcoming. Nobody acted weird or anything,” Minor said. “They welcomed me in with open arms and were willing to be my friend.”
Minor said he enjoyed the season last year. “It was good. We started off good, but I saw our offense grow a lot. We started to get the plays better and click more and run faster,” he said. “The whole season was a good memory.”
However, Minor said the season ended disappointingly. He wants the team to go deeper in the playoffs this year.
“We’ve got a really good team this year. I know it. Our coaches know it,” Minor said. “Our goal this year is to win a championship, win CIF. The way it’s looking right now, it’s within arm’s reach. That’s the main goal, going undefeated and getting a ring.”
Minor also has personal goals on the field. He wants to notch 10 receiving touchdowns, 1,000 yards receiving, and at least six interceptions. These numbers represent big jumps from last year, but he has been putting in the work in the offseason to make them attainable, practicing with quarterback Nick Hernandez.
“We practice a lot together,” Minor said. “I call him Aaron Rodgers. We have a good chemistry. He puts the football where its supposed to be.”
For his own pro comparison, Minor said he was similar to Jalen Ramsey as a defensive back and Jarvis Landry as a receiver.
Although he hasn’t received any official offers from colleges yet, Minor has been in contact with a couple schools. He is confident he will play for a college team next year.
In college, Minor said he wants to study business because he aspires to open his own business one day. “If football doesn’t work out, if I don’t make it to the NFL, I want to start my own training business, a training facility,” he said. “I want to train kids for football.”
For now, Minor said he is excited for the season to begin. Monrovia’s first game is on Aug. 16 at Northview.