Rock Solid

It hadn't happened before last year. Aurora (Nebr.) had never won a state title. After having won one the year before, Andrew Rodriguez is ready to lead his team to another state title. More than that though, Rodriguez is thinking about a national stage to showcase his talents and disprove any stereotypes about Nebraska high school football.

Aurora (Nebr.) offensive lineman, Andrew Rodriguez, wants to add another state title to his list of accomplishments before heading to Nebraska. Rodriguez and Aurora are well on their way.

"Things are going good," Rodriguez said. "We are 9-0 and heading into the playoffs. We play Alliance and we just hope to play well and get another well."

Aurora won state last year and winning it again this year would mean a lot. It's a different approach this year than last, he admits, because the bull's-eye is on their back.

"We are Class B, rated #1 I believe, and we won state last year. It would mean a lot to win it again for us and the coaches. They sacrifice a lot of their time.

"They say it's tougher to defend than to win. A lot more people know who you are and they know that you won it before. You can't go unnoticed."

This year will be another piece of history too that his class started to write last year. "Last year was the first state title for Aurora. This is a great chance to write a nice piece of history for Aurora, hopefully."

Even when Aurora's season does end Rodriguez will have at least one more game to play before heading to Lincoln. This one will be on a national stage.

"I got the nomination last year actually. I was also asked to play in the Underarmour Bowl as well. I got the invite for the U.S. Army game during either basketball or track last year.

"They asked if I would play for them. I have accepted the invite to go to the U.S. Army All-American game and it's a great opportunity for me and it will be a fun experience."

When Rodriguez goes to Nebraska he'll surely be asked where Aurora, Nebr. is. After he gets done with the game he hopes to change some people's ideas about football in smaller classification football as well as from Nebraska in general.

"It doesn't make a difference where you are from in the state or out of state. It's always a good competition. There are always people playing hard.

"It's no different there or in any other state to playing here. They are going to go there, play hard and play with heart just like I am planning on doing."

The Huskers have dropped their last two games, but have flashed at times including one time on national television against Missouri. Rodriguez has seen the ups and the downs and knows that deep down Nebraska is a good team.

"Nebraska is a good team. They just have their ups and downs. Their defense is tremendous. Their offense is going down a bumpy road right now.

"When they get it together again they will be a very good team. They have the heart of a very good team. They are just at that edge and they just need to play."

Rodriguez ended his recruiting early with a commitment to Nebraska. Teams haven't stopped recruiting him however, but he's sold on going to Nebraska.

"I get letters, but I just ignore them. I am done looking for a school. Nebraska is my school and that is where I am going."

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