As Rutgers football recruiting looks towards the future, they should keep an eye on Cornwall, N.Y. quarterback Aidan Semo. The Class of 2022 quarterback just capped off an amazing season, in which he led his team to a New York State Championship. Semo finished the year with 2,329 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns, and rushed for 284 yards and three touchdowns.
What’s even more impressive is that the six-foot-three, 175-pound freshman saw varsity action as an eighth grader. His impressive play and maturity has helped him gain attention from major programs.
It’s unclear at this point how the quarterback picture will look in the next few years for Rutgers. Forward thinking doesn’t hurt, especially in an investment as big as a starting quarterback. Someone like Semo could be a three or four year starter in the right college program.
Semo recently spoke about his football career, his future and what he brings to the table.
Blain Bradley: First of all, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. You just wrapped up a strong Freshman season. What were some of your biggest accomplishments?
Aidan Semo: Obviously, the biggest accomplishment was our team winning the State Championship. This was special for so many reasons. It was the first State Championship in our school’s history, and only the third for schools in our area. I had a pretty strong year statistically and received a lot of recognition and individual awards at the end of the season, like Team Offensive MVP, First Team All-League and First Team All-Section by the Coaches’ Association, Section 9 Insider and Varsity 845. Nothing can compare to the experience of winning the State Championship. It was a total team accomplishment and something I will never forget.
BB: Wow. Those are all great accomplishments. How has the recruiting process been for your early on? Have any schools offered?
AS: No schools have offered yet, but now that the season is over I plan to be more proactive in getting my information out to schools and setting up my camp schedule for this Spring and Summer. I had a chance to go on an unofficial visit to UPenn this fall and that was a lot of fun meeting with the coaches and getting to see the campus. I also attended prospect camps last summer at Boston College, Old Dominion, Maryland, Syracuse and UPenn. This was a great opportunity for me to see how I measured up to other quarterbacks prior to starting my first varsity season. It was a really good experience and it gave me confidence as I started the season, knowing that I could hold my own with the rising juniors and seniors. It was also great being able to see all of the different campuses. I look forward to receiving some invites to camps again this summer. Now that I have varsity experience and more schools know who I am, I know that I will need to be more selective in the camps that I attend from here on out.
BB: Which QBs do you look up to and mode your game after?
AS: Cam Newton has always been my favorite QB since he was at Auburn. I love how he plays with such a physical presence and leads with great positive emotion. When he plays he always carries himself like he still has a true love for the game and is having fun doing what he does. Peyton Manning is another QB that I loved watching too. He really changed the way the position is played with his ability to read defenses and put his team in the best position to be successful each play.
BB: What sets you apart from other QBs in the recruiting class?
AS: I believe my competitive nature and my ability to lead sets me apart from other QBs my age. This past season was a huge test for me as to whether or not I would be able to lead a varsity team as a freshman. I believe that I exceeded everyone’s expectations by the way the team continuously responded to adversity and then finishing 12-0 with a State Championship.
BB: Who’s given you the best advice in your football career, and what is that advice?
AS: The best advice I have received over the years has come from my father. One of the best things he has told me is that my next play is my best play. This has helped me to have a short-term memory when it comes to game time situations and maintaining good emotional balance, never getting too high or too low when it comes to something that happened in the game. Another would be from a book named Relentless, which explained that you should never compete with people, you need to make them compete with you.
BB: What does your training regimen look like?
AS: During the season, my team would work out three times a week, while also doing yoga on Saturday’s. We had no injuries that forced a starter to sit out of a game through all twelve weeks, and I believe yoga is a big reason why. Now that the season is over, I am playing on the school’s basketball team and have started to work out every day. I take the month of December off from throwing, but starting in January I will begin training again with New Jersey quarterback coach Leon Clarke to start getting ready for upcoming camps, and most importantly my sophomore season. Leon is great to work with. He has extremely high standards, is focused on the details of the QB position, and is committed to helping me get where I want to be.
BB: What are you looking for in a college football program, and what are you goals at the next level?
AS: I am looking for a program that is committed to being a championship program on and off of the field. A program that prepares and executes as a team, with a high level of intensity. My goals for the next level are the same as they are now, to continue to be ready to perform at the highest level possible and to help my team be successful.
From an outside perspective, it would be best for Rutgers football recruiting to join the race for Semo. He’s a great semi-local prospect, with a high ceiling for success. The Cornwall quarterback has ideal size, great football IQ and is mature. He has enough athleticism to add a different dimension to his game, and he’s already a winner.