Many characteristics describe Aaron McLaughlin: funny, caring, sarcastic, down to earth, brother. Talented football player is also on the list, but not the trait he holds in highest regard.
Overtime, he found that many people assume being a well-known quarterback correlates to cocky, arrogant behavior. That is far from the truth in his case. When he isn’t on the field, the last topic Aaron wants to talk about is himself or football. Certainly, he is proud of his accomplishments, but walking humbly is a priority in his life.
Aaron began playing football in the first grade and it was the simple feeling of having the football in his hands along with the thrill that comes with completing a touchdown pass that hooked him.
Two years ago, Aaron led to his team to the GCL championship. To this day, he sees it as one of his biggest accomplishments thus far. Another achievement he is equally proud of is receiving a scholarship offer from Texas A&M before eighth grade.
Even though he has yet to play a down of high school football, Aaron already has eight Division 1 offers from schools including Texas A&M, Missouri, Ole Miss, and UCLA.
“It is a blessing from God and nothing else,” Aaron says.
He appreciates the opportunity to visit various schools and meet legendary coaches. While it’s still extremely early in the process and committing is not on his mind at the moment, Aaron hopes to find a school where he can make an impact, feel at home, build strong relationships with coaches, and ultimately develop into an NFL-ready quarterback.
This upcoming fall, Aaron will transfer to Georgia powerhouse Buford High School. The biggest motivation to enroll came from the opportunity to play for head coach John Ford. Coach Ford runs a spread style offense and knows how to produce successful quarterbacks. On top of that, Buford upholds a tradition of excellence and boasts numerous state championship titles.
Signing Day 2021, when he will lock down his commitment, feels a lifetime away. Over the next four years, Aaron is determined to reach his full potential. By graduation, he wants to be the greatest high school quarterback of all time, yet not for selfish reasons.
“I say that because I set my goals so high and with the talents God has given me, like is says in the Bible ‘to much is given, much is expected’,” says Aaron.
Many wonder what unique skills Aaron shows on the field that places him on the radar of top college coaches while still in middle school.
He is a freakishly athletic passer who can make any throw on the field and move through the chains productively. His first instinct is to pass but, if a play breaks down, he’s not afraid to run the ball himself. Additionally, he is cautious with the football and avoids turnovers.
Aaron hasn’t done any extraordinary or absurd workouts, nor has he found a special secret that propels athletes to an entire new level. Instead, he does the same workouts as his competitors – he runs, he lifts, and he throws. His remarkable work ethic is what elevates him.
“I don’t think you can do any specific workout that will make you the best ever; it’s just all in how hard you work and how dedicated you are to be great,” he says.
Who Aaron is on the field separates him, but who he is off the field may separate him more than anything else.
As an almost-freshman quarterback with multiple offers and abundant attention, it’s easy to understand how he could let the attention go to his head. But, the publicity means nothing to him.
He still works as hard as before (actually, even harder) because now his audience has grown; Aaron wants to prove that his game lives up to the hype.
Most importantly, Aaron avoids an inflated ego because he knows that all of his success comes from God, not himself, and every accomplishment is a blessing from Him.
“Without Jesus, I am nothing,” he says.
Aaron is just beginning his journey as a quarterback; the road ahead is long, challenging, and will inevitably reveal unforeseen events along the way.
However, if he remains diligent with football and plays for the glory of the Lord and not himself, then surely don’t be surprised if – four years from now – Aaron McLaughlin is revered as the greatest high school quarterback of all time.
Aaron’s Advice: To anyone who looks up to me or needs advice on how to be successful in football, I just say work your ass off. It’s as simple as that, work as hard as you can. I also really think being humble and letting people know God is the reason for your success is very key.