By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Cornwall freshman quarterback Aidan Semo received plenty of well wishes and good luck texts before the season.
However, two of the texts stood out to Semo: They came from former Cornwall all-state quarterbacks Jason Bailey and Mike White. White starred for the Green Dragons for three years (2011-13) and Bailey followed him with two more successful seasons.
Even Bailey and White were aware of the hype surrounding Semo and he has lived up to it. Semo has completed 106 of 176 passes (60.2 percent) this year with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has helped Cornwall to the semifinals of the Class A state playoffs.
During the season, Bailey and White, who starred at Marist, have kept close tabs on Semo. The Section 9 Football Insider caught up with the former star signal callers and asked White and Bailey some questions about their successor. Semo credits, among others, White, Bailey and last year’s starting Cornwall quarterback, Kieran Kreider, with some of his success.
What were your expectations for Aidan entering this season?
Bailey: Obviously, there was a lot of hype in Cornwall surrounding Aidan. I went to a practice to just talk to him and give him some advice. I was surprised how mature he was and, honestly, how talented he was. I had pretty good expectations for him.
White: I heard there were high expectations for Aidan and once I met him a few times I knew that he would do big things.
Has Aidan lived up to the hype?
Bailey: I think he has lived up to the hype and more. To lead a team as a freshman, to go through what he went through with the coaching change, that is incredible. I think it is a credit to his work ethic and how he prepares.
White: Absolutely. I have talked to Aidan on a pretty regular basis and he has lived up to the hype. He has handled his success well and has remained humble, which I think is important. It’s very exciting to see him do so well and lead the team like he has.
What has impressed you the most about his game?
Bailey: Just how mature he is and how much he knows about the game at such a young age. I didn’t start to know the ins and outs of everything until, maybe, my junior year. Every time that I have sat down with Aidan, I have seen how much he knows and how well he prepares
White: His poise as a freshman quarterback. He has just been able to lead the team and Aidan has been low key about it. He is very humble and the arm strength that he has for a kid that age is unbelievable. That aspect of his game is very impressive.
What is one thing that Aidan can improve on?
Bailey: He’s obviously young, so he’s probably going to make some young mistakes. He hasn’t made many, but he just needs to clean any of that up, keep getting better and continue to do a good job leading the team
White: I told him after the first time I saw him play and I continue to tell him to slide or go out of bounds. Dive away from the hits. I know that Aidan is a big kid, but he is too talented to take hits he doesn’t need to. I tell him to avoid hits when he can and get out of bounds.
Is Aidan better than you were as a freshman?
Bailey: He’s definitely better than me when I was freshman. He’s bigger than I was, has more experience and I know he goes to a bunch of camps. I think he’s smarter in football terms than when I was a freshman.
White: Aidan is definitely better. When I was a young kid, I made a lot of mistakes, In my opinion, he has surpassed me when I was a freshman.
What does Aidan need to do to lead Cornwall to a win over Burnt Hills in the Class A semifinals?
Bailey: I know Burnt Hills is a good team, but I think Aidan just needs to keep doing what he has done all year. Continue to lead the team and throw the ball well.
White: He just has to treat this as another game and not let it get in his head. The entire team has to focus on playing big and strong and just follow the game plan that Coach Holzapple has put together. I know Cornwall has the drive and the focus to make it to the Dome.
Where do you see Aidan playing in college?
Bailey: The way it looks right now, I see on Twitter he is the 20th-ranked quarterback in the nation or something. Aidan’s work ethic is great and I don’t see why he can’t play at one of the highest levels in college.
White: Aidan can definitely play at the Division I level. He is talented and special and he can play at a high level in college.
Follow Justin Rodriguez on Twitter at jrods9insider; Email: email@example.com