"You could tell Aaron was a special person," Coach Johnson said. "Not only could he play football, he had a great personality to go along with that."
Aaron transferred to John Tyler after moving to East Texas from San Antonio. Already a skilled athlete, Aaron had something to prove.
"He came into the system and kids was wondering if he was going to blend in with the other group," Johnson said. "He was not a big bragger. He didn't boast about different things. So he fit in real good."
"Aaron was outgoing and just made friends with everybody," Mrs. Hedricks said.
Aaron was one focus of college recruits stepping on to JT's campus. In 2001, he signed a letter of intent to play under Mack Brown with the Longhorns.
But the NCAA put a hold on his college dreams. A transcript error from Aaron's transfer kept him out for two seasons. He was forced to return to John Tyler and retake sophomore English to keep his eligibility alive.
"I coach track and I use Ross as an example," Johnson said. "The obstacles he had to go through and he kept going until he reached his goals."
"I think it was a growing experience for Aaron," Hedricks. "It showed he what he was worth. He had options he could have gone and played at junior college. But he wanted to play for Mack Brown at Texas and so he did what he had to do."
Aaron went on to win a national championship and the Thorpe Award at Texas. In 2007, he was the 20th overall pick in the NFL draft taken by the Giants. An example that nothing can get in the way of a goal.
His teachers are proud of him for working so hard to get to the biggest game in American sports.
"I'm rooting for the Giants," Hedricks said. "For Aaron."