By VICKI McCORMICK LEWIS
Language Arts, Portal High School
Want to measure the accomplishments that make Jeremy Mincey one of Statesboro’s most loved personalities? Pull out a ruler — a long ruler.
To begin with, Mincey’s modest demeanor goes a long way. As one of six children born to Arva and James Mincey, he never had the opportunity to play recreation sports during his formative years, but recognized his love for basketball and played under the leadership of basketball coach Lee Hill before deciding as a high school junior to test his abilities on the football field.
“Bunky (as he’s known to friends and family) was always so humble; he never showed any signs of arrogance. It was a shock to us when he made the football team. We thought he was going to the NBA,” said his older sister Angela Mincey of Austin, Texas.
“I was a very responsible student by that time,” Mincey said. “If I missed the bus to school or practice, I would walk. 'Coach P' (as he affectionately refers to former Statesboro High School head football coach, Steve Pennington) was a huge inspiration; he gave me hope. I’ll never forget how he told me that I could be anything that I wanted to be in life. Coach P pushed me, but I pushed myself more. Coach Lee Hill had high expectations of me. He was and still is a great supporter.”
That determination and drive is what helped to propel the Statesboro High Blue Devils through a15-0 season that resulted in the 2001 Class AAAA state championship title.
Road to University of Florida
After turning down a full scholarship to Jacksonville State University, Mincey headed to Butler Community College in Eldorado, Kansas with a huge plastic trash bag in which he carried three pairs of pants, two pairs of shoes and six shirts. The team went to conference his first year and went undefeated his second year to earn a junior college national championship in 2003.
After accepting a full scholarship to the University of Florida, Mincey continued to gain momentum where he was recognized for academic excellence, named the Florida football team’s 2004 Defensive Lineman of the Year, served as team captain, was part of the recruiting team, and earned the Coach’s Award his senior year.
Drafted to the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft, Mincey admits to being young and inexperienced about the game of football.
“I was cut from the Patriots, but I really gained an understanding of football when I signed with San Francisco in 2006,” Mincey said. “Prior to that I just did what the coaches told me to do to the best of my ability.”
Coach Lee Hill recalls Mincey’s work ethic.
“That young man was a hard worker on the court, on the field and in the classroom. I have never seen a kid who wanted to succeed as badly as he did. He made himself into the person that he has become,” he said.
After signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2006, Mincey was plagued with sporadic injuries (calf muscle tear, broken wrist, broken thumb) that prevented him from seeing much action on the field. When he broke three fingers in his right hand, Mincey was determined not to miss another season due to injuries. That season he led his team in sacks, came back as team captain, and signed a 4-year, $29 million deal.
He went on to join the Denver Broncos and was a part of their 2014 Super Bowl team. Defying critics who predicted Mincey’s affiliation with the Dallas Cowboys to be his worst year ever, he led the team in sacks, was named Defensive MVP, and earned the Media Man Award for two consecutive years. After undergoing surgery on an injured elbow, Mincey retired from the Dallas Cowboys as a defensive end in 2016 and began to focus on music.
In addition to engaging in music for the pure love of the craft, Mincey has worked with budding artists as well. His philanthropic efforts include the legendary Bash in the Boro, which featured guests such as J Dash and Miss Jamaica.
He works through his nonprofit organization, “Men Moving Positive” and participated in the World Peace Tour with Klaus Nobel. He was presented a key to the city of Brunswick in 2012, a key to the city of Statesboro and Jeremy Mincey Day in the city of Houston 2014.
Aubrey Flynn, former chief digital officer of Revolt TV speaks highly of his fellow University of Florida friend and colleague. “He’s a scholar first and foremost, a community leader, and an outstanding entrepreneur. Furthermore, he’s a great example for young men from under-served communities.”
Mr. Mince, as he’s known in the music industry, released his album “Just Work” in 2015. Creatively produced to include footage from his proposal and wedding to wife, Markevia, the video has amassed over 40 million streams on YouTube and Soundcloud.
He takes pride in knowing that he was the first NFL player to get his music played in major sporting arenas. Some of Mincey’s professional affiliations include Brad Jordan (Scarface), Keven Gates, Mystikal, Maino, Pastor Troy and Faith Evans, as well as Statesboro’s own platinum producers, FATBOI and Beat Attikz.
His sister Angela reminisces about Mincey’s down-to-earth disposition.
“In spite of all that he has and all that he’s accomplished, he’s still Bunky. I once teased him about seeing him in this particular shirt in several different photos. He could have purchased a million shirts, but that’s how he is — as humble as ever,” she said.
Successfully avoiding the pitfalls of fame and fortune while pursuing his dreams, Mincey’s accomplishments are many.
“I teach my children the importance of spiritual wealth. I want them to first love God, then to be the best humans they can be. That’s what I aspire to do,” he said.