You are 15-years-old and just now going into your sophomore season. And you have numerous schools recruiting you, six that have offered scholarships. What are your thoughts about that?
"It is a great experience. I have seen my older cousin Robert Washington go through it and get a lot of offers. Then, I had to be patient and wait for my time. But it is amazing for anyone to go to college. My dad, my family and me sat down one night and prayed that if I get the chance to fulfill my dream of going to college that would be great. Two weeks after that Coach (David) Turner from Mississippi State offered me. It was a shocker but I had to work even harder to earn even more offers. I am blessed to have six offers right now."
Do you remember that call when you received the offer?
"I was on my way to Michigan for a 7 on 7 tournament with a whole bunch of seniors and juniors. I was the only 8th grader on my team. We had about a week of school left. I had called Coach Turner and sent him my film. I called him and he said they had sat down and looked at it and wanted to offer me. I was in shock when he said that. It took me about a minute to figure out what to say since I had just gotten offered. We talked for about 15 minutes after that. We talked about me being able to come to Mississippi State on a full scholarship even if I got hurt. That was a key in it, too."
Once you talked to Coach Turner and hung up the phone what did you do next? You had just received a scholarship offer and you were still in the 8th grade. That was a big deal for you as it would be for anybody.
"I hung up the phone and thought about it, then prayed to God and thanked Him for giving me this opportunity to go to college because it is a blessing. I then called my mom and dad and told them. They were in shock. My mom was emotional about it while my dad said that it was a blessing. He told me that I needed to keep grinding so that I could get even more options to fulfill my dream to go to college and maybe even go to the (NFL) if I can. It was a great time for my entire family."
You now have a lot of schools that are recruiting you and you have six offers. How do you keep from taking all of this for granted?
"Each offer is special because there could be different aspects with each offer. As for not taking any of them for granted, I thank God every day and stay humble. I even go to the younger kids and talk to them about trusting in God and that your dreams might come true if you always believe in yourself."
You and your cousin, Robert Washington, have pretty much visited the same schools this summer. What are you trying to accomplish when you visit the colleges?
"I'm trying to develop relationships with the coaches. It's not just about seeing the facilities and the stadium because I have to have a relationship with the (position) coach because he is going to be my father-figure, my mentor in my life for the four or however many years that I am in college. I would need for him to be real close to me so that I could come to him or he could come to me like I'm his son.
"I also want to see what life is like around the school itself, not just the football part of it. Outside of football, you want to know that you feel comfortable like it's a family."
The above interview was specifically about Aapri Washington's overall recruitment. If you haven't seen the earlier article that I did that included a video of him talking about his visit to Mississippi State, click on the video below for those comments.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.