TAMPA – Aaron Pierre‘s first season at Cambridge Christian turned out to be one that he won’t forget for a long time. The running back/safety played a key role in the Lancers’ first-ever 2A state title appearance.
The 6’1″, 205-pounder transferred from Tampa Catholic to further his education and bring his overall GPA up, he said.
He totaled eight touchdowns (six rushing, one interception, one kickoff return) as he added 597 yards from scrimmage, two interceptions, two blocked field goals and a fumble recovery.
The rising senior played in three games previously as a sophomore at TC as an injury kept him sidelined for much of 2014. As an outside linebacker appearing on varsity for the first time, he said he learned that he can’t rely purely on his athleticism.
Transferring to Cambridge Christian is something he called very challenging in terms of academics.
“Once I got settled in it became a lot easier for me,” Pierre said. “The people are so supportive and help me before and after school. The football aspect was hard because now I play both sides of the ball. I work out on my own more.”
Starting his football career at age 10, Pierre played tight end and defensive line. It wasn’t until freshman year that he moved to running back and linebacker. Last season was his first at safety, a position he says he truly loves playing.
On the way to the state title game, Pierre came up with a clutch play in the region final against Admiral Farragut. Trailing 25-7 in the fourth quarter, he came in for starter Andrew Cunningham on third down and hammered home a 27-yard rushing touchdown. The Lancers erased the 18-point deficit and won 36-32.
Pierre says last season was a lot of fun as Cambridge Christian made history all season long by recording the school’s first district title, first region title, first state title game and first appearance in the postseason.
“We all had are separate groups on the team during the season. It brought us closer together especially during the playoffs when we had to rely on the some of the younger guys. I think it made us all better football players and friends.”
He says he thinks that the team’s biggest downfall last season was that they weren’t mature enough. A more seasoned University Christian group won 61-16 handing the Lancers their first loss of the season at 12-1.
“It was a new experience for us. A lot of the guys are younger, but now we’ve been to that level. Next year, we just have to finish the job.”
Playing for eighth-year head coach Bob Dare is something that Pierre calls great. Over the last two seasons, Dare has helped the Lancers post a 20-3 record.
“He’s [Dare] a great coach. He believes in you no matter what. At times when you don’t believe in yourself, he’s always going to believe in you.”
Pierre says this past season is when he found the confidence in his game.
“I realized the impact that I could have on the team. I loved being a captain and show people around instead of having to be showed around and being told what to do.”
Right now, Pierre has two offers from Liberty and Bowling Green with interest from Florida Atlantic, Samford and Iowa State.
He visited Liberty on Tuesday and is planning a visit to Bowling Green on Saturday.
“I had a great time,” he said about his visit to Liberty. “The coaches and everybody was nice & showed me a great time. It feels like a family almost, great atmosphere and even better I loved the Christian environment.”
In terms of his biggest strength, Pierre says that is his ability to play in the box. He wants to continue to improve his coverage skills.
His dad serves as his biggest role model.
“He’s been through all the struggles that I’ve gone through. It’s just all about using it to strengthen you as a person.”
Pierre’s ultimate goal is to become a better man and better person. As far as the NFL goes, he’s simply taking his football career year by year.
The switch to Cambridge Christian has helped Pierre thrive and that is huge for him and his group. This season, the Lancers are more seasoned and more determined as they look to finish the job.
Aaron Pierre is a fun player to watch. He does all the little things that you want in a football player. He’s on the rise.
Favorite player to watch – Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman, Jacksonville Jaguars DB Jalen Ramsey
Playlist before games – 21 Savage
Favorite movies – Race, Finding Nemo, Cars
Favorite TV show – Jerry Springer
Fun fact about you that you think no one knows – “I like to cook. I make any kind of pasta. My top dish is chicken alfredo.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “AP”
Game film: Pierre’s Hudl tape
Photo credit: My News 13
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.