Aaron Hester's Roots in College and NFL Football Run Deep
Jacksonville, Florida rising junior Aaron Hester has a bright future with a pair of early scholarship offers and others lurking and close to jumping onboard.
The 6-3, 220 pound linebacker has offers from both Cincinnati (last week) as well as East Carolina that offered on Wednesday.
At ECU, the Fletcher High prospect is working with recruiting coordinator/tight ends-inside receivers coach Fontel Mines who likes what he is seeing so far from Hester who comes from a long line of relatives who made an impact in college (and NFL) football including his father and two cousins of note.
“I remember in ninth grade during my spring game they came and saw me. We had a lot of talent at the beach and I was a newcomer on the team. I had a sack that game and about five tackles. Coach Mines and the offensive coordinator (Donnie Kirkpatrick) came up, they saw us and I had a good game. They saw my film where I had about ten sacks and about ninety tackles and I did really good.”
Hester says he was very excited to grab his latest offer from the Pirates.
“I’m amazed. It’s crazy and I’m really excited. I really like ECU, I like Coach Mines. I like it,” Hester told PirateIllustrated.com, “It’s a golden opportunity.”
Hester followed up a solid freshman season with 9.5 sacks to go along with 109 tackles as a sophomore last year on a Fletcher High team that went 6-4 overall. The Senators closed out the season strong, winning five of their last six games. One of his best games was in a 10-7 win over Flagler Palm Coast where he registered double digit tackles and a pair of sacks.
A versatile performer for the Senators, Hester has the ability to play a number of different roles defensively.
“They’re looking at me as an outside linebacker. My versatility is good. I can play inside linebacker and can take it up front too.”
“Coach Mines is telling me about the education system there and I like that and he is telling me about the football program. He just informed about everything about ECU and I really like it,” said Hester, “He likes my quickness and aggressiveness, the way I can chase the ball down with no hesitation at all.”
Hester is working hard this summer to try to continue to improve as he heads into his junior season at Fletcher.
“I’m really just working on my strength and my power and also in game smartness and just learning the game better. I was kind of young this year, coming out of ninth grade. I started on the varsity. It takes some learning, but I picked it up and learned very quickly, especially going up against our four-star tackle Bradley Ashmore (Vanderbilt early enrollee) every day in practice made me a lot better.
Hester’s roots in football run deep with at least three relatives who played both in college and in the NFL. His father is Ron Hester played linebacker in 1980 and 1981 at FSU and played in 1982 for the Miami Dolphins. Former NFL and Florida State wideout Jesse Hester played in 147 games and caught 373 receptions for 5,850 yards and 29 touchdowns in a ten year pro career is his cousin.
Wide receiver and speed burner return man Devin Hester, who played his college football at Miami and for the Chicago, Atlanta and Baltimore in the NFL is a distant cousin. Devin was a second round NFL draft choice and had over 11,000 return yards and twenty touchdowns to go along with 3,300 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in a ten year pro career.
In addition to Cincinnati and ECU, Hester is also hearing a little in the early going from both from from Florida State as well as from Rick Stockstill at Middle Tennessee, who played with Hester’s dad in college for the Seminoles.
“I’m still neutral about any schools, but I’m thankful for all of the opportunities,” Hester told PI, “I think I’m going to take a visit to all of the schools that I have mentioned.”