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2026 4-Star DB CJ Hester: Cocoa HS (FL)

Cocoa High School's standout defensive back, CJ Hester, is making waves both on the gridiron and in the classroom. At 6'1 and 185 pounds, Hester's physical prowess is matched only by his intellectual acumen, boasting an impressive 4.3 GPA. As college recruiters flock to Florida in pursuit of this rising talent, Hester remains grounded, focused on honing his skills and making a lasting impact, both on and off the field.

"I start playing football at 5... My dad influenced me to play, which was fun and exciting. He also was my little coach for almost all my little league years," Hester reflects on his journey into the sport, acknowledging the pivotal role his father played in igniting his passion for the game. "I played JV in middle school when I could have still played little league but I wanted high school experience, and when I was in high school, I played on varsity."

While Hester credits his high school coaches for their guidance, he also acknowledges the invaluable contribution of his personal trainer, Coach TJ. "I also train with my trainer Coach TJ, and he elevated my game up a whole lot and improved my craft," Hester explains. Additionally, his participation in track and field, where he excels in events such as the long jump, high jump, javelin, and the 100-meter dash, further enhances his athleticism and speed on the football field.

With a slew of offers from esteemed institutions such as UCF, Pitt, Indiana, and Iowa State, among others, Hester remains deliberate in his approach to the recruiting process. "UCF has caught my attention... they are straightforward, have an exciting campus, great energy, a great coaching staff, and I like the way they develop their players," he shares. While he entertains the possibility of committing during his junior year, Hester remains focused on his upcoming season and the rigorous off-season regimen he undertakes to stay at the top of his game.

"I go to track practice through the week and in the weight room... I have been going to camps and 7v7 to improve my craft to ensure I'm prepared for the upcoming season," Hester outlines his off-season routine, emphasizing his commitment to constant improvement and readiness.

Beyond the gridiron, Hester's multifaceted personality shines through. "I am a chill, laidback, positive outgoing guy that brings smiles and laughter to many people's faces," he shares. An avid fan of artists such as Rod Wave, Bossman Dlow, and Rylo Rodriguez, Hester also enjoys riding dirt bikes with friends and indulging in video games like Madden, Modern Warfare, and dirt bike games. Moreover, his unwavering faith in Jesus Christ serves as a guiding light, instilling in him the belief that with faith, anything is possible.

As CJ Hester continues to carve his path to success, both on and off the field, his dedication, talent, and character serve as a testament to his bright future in football and beyond.

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