LYNN, Mass. (BVM) — While the Northeast is not widely known for football at the prep level, the state of Massachusetts is beginning to produce some top-tier talent.
Joenel Aguero is one of many budding stars in the Bay State.
The high school senior attends St. John’s Prep in Lynn and ranks as the No. 20 player in the country according to ESPN. He was also selected to go to the Under Armour All America game in January.
Alongside Aguero, Samson Okunlola and Boubacar Traore represent a new wave of talent coming through Massachusetts.
After Aguero’s sophomore year, he decided to transfer to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where he played his junior season.
But heading into his final year of high school football, there was no place Aguero would rather finish it off than back home.
“I just wanted to come back and enjoy the time that I have with my family,” Aguero said.
Aguero still has the rest of his senior season to enjoy his time back home before he travels over a thousand miles southwest to Athens, Georgia, where he will be spending his college career.
In July, Aguero announced his commitment to Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs football program.
— Joenel Aguero (@Joenel_33) July 23, 2022
“Everything kind of stood out to me,” Aguero said. “In terms of coaches, environment, what the coaches can do for me by helping me get developed and get to the league.”
But way before Aguero became a Georgia pledge, he had aspirations of playing college football.
It started when he was just 10 years old and his parents first signed him up to play.
Aguero had played multiple sports at the time, but something was different for him about the game of football.
“I just kind of fell in love with the game,” Aguero said. “It all just came so natural to me. Just being on the field made me happy.”
Only a few years later, Aguero received his first offer as an eighth grader from the University of Massachusetts.
“After that, it just gave me more motivation because I knew I could do it,” Aguero said.
Now as a nationally coveted recruit, Aguero always had the personal expectation to get to his current status.
“I’ve worked hard for what I have now,” Aguero said. “It took a lot of time, hard work and dedication.”
Aguero’s rise to superstardom is still underway, but with his high ranking, he is already under the spotlight of media and fans.
But Aguero already possesses a professional demeanor despite his age.
“I wouldn’t say it’s pressure,” Aguero said. “You’re a role model for a lot of people, especially being a high recruit. You always have to present everything well and carry yourself well.”
Aguero is hoping to finish off his high school legacy by leading St. John’s Prep to a state title before he joins one of the top programs in one of the top conferences in all of college athletics.
But in the meantime, Aguero is taking it day by day, inspiring the next generation of football players in the state of Massachusetts.