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Aaron Bedgood: “The Ultimate Multitasker”

By Barry Every
SouthernPigskin.com
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In his three-year career Bedgood has carried the ball 83 times for 619 yards hitting paydirt six times. He has also caught a whopping 79 passes for 913 and nine scores.

Three years into his tenure as head football coach at Richmond Hill (Ga.) Matt LeZotte has led his squad to consecutive appearances in the GHSA-AAAAAA playoffs. Over the previous 14 seasons the Wildcats made just two trips to postseason play.

Possibly one of the most unheralded players in all of South Georgia is Wildcat all-purpose back Aaron Bedgood who returns for his senior campaign this fall. The 5-foot-8, 165 whirling dervish has quietly put up varsity numbers that should grab headlines.

In his three-year career Bedgood has carried the ball 83 times for 619 yards hitting paydirt six times. He has also caught a whopping 79 passes for 913 and nine scores. More astonishing may be his bottom line as return man for the Wildcats. Bedgood has returned 45 kickoffs for 1,132 yards and 26 punts for 489 yards, taking it the distance twice.

Another way to look the totality of his work and the impact he has had for Richmond Hill (Ga.) is to stack his yearly totals up versus fellow teammates. Bedgood led the Wildcats in all-purpose yards as a freshman and sophomore. This past season he missed one game and ended up finishing second in that category.

“He hasn’t even been the feature guy for us yet and may be the best returning offensive player in our Region,” LeZotte said. “He is the one player in my lifetime that I have coached where I have to have a conversation with my assistants on why he didn’t get more touches.”

Currently Bedgood has attracted scholarship offers from Coastal Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Mercer, Tennessee Tech, Western Carolina and Wofford. He is also receiving strong interest from Air Force, Army, Georgia Southern and Kennesaw State.

According to Coach LeZotte the triple option schools are recruiting Bedgood as a slot back, while the spread attacks like his skillset as a slot receiver.

Looking at some of those offers one should ascertain that his academics are in order. At this time Begood boasts a 3.15 core GPA with a 1050 on the SAT. He plans on taking the ACT for the first time this fall as well as retaking the SAT with his sights set on scoring at least a 1200.

“He is as good as he wants to be as a route runner,” LeZotte said. “He possesses phenomenal balance and it’s really tough for one person to pull him down. I personally think Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern should take a hard look at this young man. He is also a great friend and teammate to have, just a very loyal young man who is willing to carry the load.”

Bedgood has already been on unofficial visits to Coastal Carolina, Florida, Georgia Tech and Mercer. In the very near future he will be making trips to Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Southern and Wofford. He also plans on attending satellite camps held at Kennesaw State and Mercer.

“Every school that is recruiting me is telling me the same thing as far as being a slot, running back and return man candidate,” Bedgood said. “The school that is really standing out right now is Coastal Carolina; Coach Willy Korn has just done a great job of recruiting me. I just really enjoyed my visit there and it felt like home; I can see myself playing there.”

Unfortunately the Wildcats are faced with substantial losses from last season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They must replace receivers Sam James (West Virginia) and Justin Jeffery (Charlotte) as well as 1,000-yard rusher Maurice Smith. Special teams also took a major hit with All-Area placekicker Joseph Petrino signing with Maryland.

“I haven’t always been the most vocal leader; I have led by actions,” Bedgood said. “But, that will have to change this season because I know I have to get into my teammate’s heads to get them to listen to what the coaches are preaching. We simply can’t wait till August to perform; it starts with spring practice and offseason conditioning.”

But it’s not just about being a vocal leader for Bedgood, he also realizes continuing to hone his talents as a multi-faceted offensive weapon will aid in his team’s effort on making it three-straight trips to the playoffs.

We simply won’t have the talent to just win games, we will have to outsmart our opponents and focus on one game at time,” Bedgood said. “I plan on improving my top end speed, working on my run blocking and of course you can always become a more complete route runner.”

For college recruiters looking for a skilled route runner that knows how to expose the weaknesses in the soft underbelly of a defense, Richmond Hill (Ga.) begins spring practice April, 30. It then all culminates at home with a spring jamboree versus Darien (Ga.) McIntosh County Academy and Pembroke (Ga.) Bryan County May, 11 at 5:30pm.