I’m a close friend of the Philo family, have known Aaron for most of his life, and have closely followed his career. First off, what’s up with all of the negative comments on social media from some of the Gophers fans, y’all? (Not quite as bad here as on Twitter) A promising kid commits to your school and the welcome he gets are a bunch of off handed comments or questions about his ability? One “fan” even made a negative comment about his picture. SMH. Rough crowd. Some weird energy going on there among certain fans. Show him some love. He’ll recruit hard for the 2024 class.
Here’s the skinny on Aaron: He’s an exceptional young man. Mature, polite, humble, a true leader with great work ethic, excellent student. Aaron possesses a quiet confidence like I have never seen, and leads by example. Great upbringing with a great family. He’s a winner, competitive, and I always say that he was born to play the position. He’s not “wishy washy” in his commitment as was previously noted. He loves the staff and they have shown him consistent love throughout the process. Minnesota has been one of his top choices, and his unofficial visit affirmed that for him, and his family. Top notch school, facilities, and people throughout the program.
Aaron the player: all I can say is watch the tape. Exceptional arm strength, accuracy, and decision making, the ball just flies out of his hand effortlessly. He would also be an D1 baseball recruit if he played (threw a perfect game in his first varsity start). Aaron is not the fastest kid, but slides in the pocket very well to extend plays and can run when needed as you’ll see on the film. Runs thru people. He consistently makes throws as good, if not better, than any other quarterback in his class and can drop the ball in on a dime anywhere on the field.
Aaron competed in the Elite 11 regional in Nashville last spring. He competed against many other top QBs in the 2023 and 2024 class. In the release time and velocity portion, he beat Jaxon Smolik (Penn State), Brock Glenn (FSU), Kenny Minchey (ND), and Nico Iamaleava (Tennessee). I’ll be happy to share the graphic from Elite 11 if anyone wants to see it. In the overall pro day results, he finished tied for second just behind CJ Carr (ND), and beat several others including Walker White (2024 Auburn commit). He’ll be back for another Elite 11 in May at the Atlanta regional. Let’s support him in that- the bigger his profile becomes, the more attention that will bring to the Minnesota program and more recruits will follow him there.
Level of competition: Prince is an elite program. Top 10 in a state that is arguably the most talent rich in the country. Aaron is 27-2 in two years as a starter, one loss coming in the 2021 state championship game against a team with a handful of D1 commits. They’ve beaten many good teams. Teams won’t schedule them out of conference because of it. Class A teams in Georgia could probably compete with higher classification teams in almost every other state. Aaron was mentored by and maintains a close friendship with Brock Vandagriff (UGA), who also led the team to a state title, and was recruited by every school in the country as a 5 star. In the state championship game this past fall, Aaron went for almost 500 yards and 6 TDs against a defense that featured Ty Adams (UNC commit) and Demelo Jones (offers from Bama, Georgia and every other major). What else do people want to see? Prince also beat state champions from Tennessee (Baylor) and South Carolina (Hammond) in their non conference schedule. The majority of the teams they faced, especially in the playoffs, featured at least one or more high D1 commits or recruits.
Aaron is a tremendous addition to your program moving forward. In my opinion, he’s being overlooked by many (this opinion is held by many others “in the know”) and will end up the process as one of the top QBs in the class when all is said and done. Just wait and see. He’s a rising star in the 2024 class and will pick up his 4th star in no time, probably after the Elite 11. Follow this kid on Twitter and show him some love and support. He’s going to do great things for the Gopher program!