DITR: CB Aidan Jones, Vandegrift High School (Austin, Texas)

Aidan Jones is an intelligent cornerback from the class of 2025 that is flying under everyone’s radar. Aidan is one of the more crafty cornerbacks, he uses his high football IQ to read an offense and make a play. During our interview he stressed being a student of the game and consistently watching film. Aidan is able to position his body and lurk on defense to stay undetected by quarterbacks and make big plays. He currently stands at 5’11, 185 lbs, already great measurables for a corner. Those aren’t the only eye opening stats for Aidan as he runs a 4.44s forty yard dash as well as a 3.93s 3 cone shuttle. You can see this translate on the field as he will never let a receiver out run him. His agility and quick feet are another key attribute to his game. Aidan has insane lateral movement and can fly over to a pass in the blink of an eye. These attributes can be measured by the stellar stats Aidan put up this year. This season, Aidan had 32 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 tackles for losses, 9 pass deflections, 3 blocked punts, 3 interceptions and a touchdown scored off an interception. As you can see, Aidan is everywhere on the field. These stellar stats earned Aidan some hardware last season. His trophy case currently holds his TSWA All State Award, 2023 All Central Texas Award, and 1st Team All District awards he won last season. Not wanting to be boxed into a single position, Aidan is also doing some work this offseason to play safety as well. Part of this work comes in the weight room, and Aidan has excelled so far in that aspect. Aidan currently bench presses 270 lbs, power cleans 275 lbs, and squats and impressive 405 lbs. On top of his excellence on the field, Aidan is just as committed in the classroom. He scored an insanely impressive 1450 on his SAT, and holds a 4.18 GPA. He is a young man that understands education is the only thing promised from school, so he puts forth his best effort in anything he does. A young man who has only been playing football since 7th grade, Aidan is an elite cornerback with an even higher ceiling.

What made you fall in love with the position of corner?

I think just the ability, and especially in a cover 2 defense, to do everything on the field. I have to set the edge, I have to remember my coverage, I have to make big plays. I got moved from linebacker where it was pretty much just running downhill until I hit someone, but having the freedom to work in space more is something that I absolutely love.

What do you consider your biggest strength on the field?

I would say my consistency. That was something that I have been working on a lot since being moved to corner. Over the course of the season I got a lot better and a lot more consistent. At the begging of the year I was a little tentative in certain situations but as we got closer to district playoffs, consistency was one of my best traits. Being able to consistently make plays, tackle, and cover my assignments. I don’t think I gave up a pass in man over 10 yards the entire season. Being able to be that consistent is really important for the team.

You guys had that tough loss against Lake Travis in the playoffs when you lost by that last second FG. Being the first time yall have ever been out of the Texas High School Football playoffs in the first round, is that really lighting a fire under yall to do better and what are yall taking from that loss to go improve next season?

It was definitely a tough loss but it has us really fired up for next season. I know the second we got back we were instantly back in the weight room. We’re hungry to get back out there and play our hearts out. We started spring ball and everyone is super fired up about that. We all have had a great offseason. After focusing on ourselves, it’s time to turn our heads towards the season and to 7 on 7 coming up. We’re just gonna go out there and do our best.
Aidan (lower) delivering a bone crushing tackle

Are their any DB’s that you try and model your game after?

Definitely Cooper DeJean. He’s been a guy that I’ve watched forever. I watched his basketball highlights while he was committing to Iowa. He’s probably gonna be a first round draft pick now and he’s a pretty big guy, like 6’1 210 lbs. He’s physical, he can run, he’s super fast, he can return and pretty much do everything. He’s really been a guy that I would love to have a similar play style as.

What are some goals you have for yourself and for your team this upcoming season?

I had some running and lifting goals during the offseason that I have hit all of for the most part. Weight gain was a big one for me. I played below 180 lbs for most of the season and I want to reach 185 lbs with it being mostly muscle. I want to put up some good max’s with this being the last round of them for the offseason, and I had some good numbers from this most recent one. I want to get faster and work on my 40, I ran a pretty good 40 time recently along with my shuttle. Some of those are team records so I feel very grateful to meet all of my goals. Looking forward to the season, our goal is to go undefeated in the regular season as always, and become district champions. That’s part of our goals with our theme for next year “brick by brick”. We want to get back to where we are making a deep playoff run.

What do you do outside of team practice to improve?

On Saturdays, I have a gym set up at home that I use for supplementary lifts and working on my explosiveness. Then I go outside and train speed and a lot of basketball has been really fun for me this offseason. I haven’t played basketball in a while and its great footwork, especially for defense. You have to match the receivers speed and where they are going, I had a lot of fun with that. Watching film is one of my great attributes, I am a student of the game. I’m always studying film whenever I have free time after doing my homework.
Aidan running the rock back after a big interception

What is the most challenging part of playing cornerback? 

Probably the mental aspect. It’s really tough if you win 9 out of 10 reps but the receiver will win one and continually talk about it. You won’t always succeed but taking failure as a learning opportunity is something that is difficult but I think I have really grown into it recently. I think I have gotten very good at it.

What has been your biggest improvement since you started playing football?

Definitely my leadership. When I first came in, I had played flag football before but never tackle. Most of the guys I was playing with had been playing tackle since pop warner and were already really good friends while I was moving into a new state. Over the years I’ve grown in my vocality, I’ve been really vocal. Especially now that we are seniors, we have stepped up and I think stepping up and leading the team has been a massive improvement for me. I love helping coach up the younger guys and improve their game. It makes the team better.

What is your dream college, and have you been in talks with any recently?

I would say Yale just because academics is such a big part of why I love going to school and playing football. I want to set up my future and that’s been a big thought for me as I am starting to go through the college process and talking to coaches. I’ve had talks with Yale, and some recent camp invitations to Ivy League schools and I’ll be attending the University of North Texas camp as well as the Trinity camp where all the Ivy’s will be.

What is you way too early Super Bowl winner prediction for next season?

I gotta go with the Cowboys. I love my Cowboys but we definitely need to make some more offseason moves. You always gotta support your team so I’m rolling with the Cowboys.