By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Scouting reports on the 2017 Brighton Cardinals will feature a portion referring to a physical stud with freakish athletic ability and large presence on the field.
The question is, which Cardinal senior, Aaron Alston or Cameron John. Alston is listed at 6’4, 200 pounds lining up at receiver and defensive back. Meanwhile John comes in at 6-feet, 5-inches and 225 on the scale.
The dynamic duo has made its presence felt the past two seasons drawing comparisons to Brighton gridiron greats and Division I signees Theron Kadri and Ricky Foster. Now Alston and John are ready to author one more special season in Tipton County and add their names to the Cardinal Football college signing list.
“My sophomore year I started getting big, working out more and getting my body up to speed to make big plays,” John recalled.
That was the same year Alston hit his growth spurt. Brighton Head Coach Robin Jacobs found a spot for both players with John working on the defensive line as an end.
Alston started to see more passes come his way helping the Cardinal attack rack up big numbers. While Alston shined with long touchdown runs, John started to gain attention with tackles and arriving in opposing backfields.
Then John made the tackle in 2015 to close out the Munford comeback leaving many asking, “Who is No. 89?”
Despite the big plays from John and Alston as sophomores and juniors, both seasons ended too early. Brighton went 9-1 and won the Region title in 2015 but Northeast Clarksville came down to Tipton County prevailed in the First Round playoff game.
Last season Brighton went 7-3 in the regular season to earn the No. 2 seed and host Henry County. The Patriots won an overtime classic.
“We have to finish hard,” John said. “We gave up some. We got a little tired. We can’t do that this year.”
Alston noted both playoff games featured Brighton comebacks.
“We have to fix our mistakes, correct the little stuff,” he said. “You have to do your part in the game. Don’t try to do the extra, be accountable.”
Both standouts feel they must lead by example. Alston said John is a prime example of defensive excellence.
“Cameron, he comes for the quarterback every time,” he said. “I like to score touchdowns, easy touchdowns. He’s that way with getting in the backfield. He’s relentless.”
John said when he hits the sideline, he’s at full attention watching his friend shine on offense.
“Aaron, when he catches that ball, he’s gone,” he recalled. “He’s fast and nobody can catch him. He’s so impressive with that power.”
Alston’s feats on the field not only impresses teammates, but those around Brighton Football the past decade compare him to Tennessee State University signee and 2012 Star Athlete of the Year Ricky Foster.
Foster was a standout receiver who once scored 5 touchdowns in a game on only 6 catches. Foster also shined on the hardwood as a small forward dunking on the competition. Alston has garnered headlines with his slams for Cardinal Basketball.
Although Alston would like to add his name to the list with Foster as a college signee, he’s not too worried about the comparisons.
“I just try to be me,” he said. “I don’t try to be like anybody else. I’m trying to be the best Aaron.”
Colleges like Eastern Kentucky, Memphis and Murray State are paying attention to Aaron’s best. EKU and Memphis also have John on their radar. And even Southeast Missouri want the defensive end.
The first defensive end and player in Brighton history to sign a Division I football scholarship was Theron Kadri back in 2007 to Vanderbilt.
“I will follow in his footsteps,” John declared. “I’m doing everything in my power. I’m working hard in the classroom as well. I want to just have fun this season and get some things accomplished.”
While National Signing Day is down the road in February, John and Alston are focusing on August, September, October and the month of November.
“We all have to do our part,” Alston concluded. “If we do that, we’ll be back in the playoffs.”