Sarah and Craig Howard of Salemburg are the proud grandparents of Aaron Evans, who recently signed on to play football with the University of Central Florida. He received a five-year, full cholarship so he can get his masters degree if wants it.
“We are very proud,” Sarah Howard said, and explained, “Our daughter, Bette Jo, is Aaron’s mother, and she grew up around here.”
She added that Aaron had hoped to play for N.C. State so he could be close to his North Carolina family, but that didn’t work out.
“Aaron has always played football. He’s a big boy and is able to get in there and tackle those boys,” she said with a laugh. “He loves it.”
The 6 foot 6 inch, 280-pound teenager is the son of Jim and Bette Jo Evans, and played on the offensive line for Armwood High, which has a nationally ranked program.
In a phone interview with Bette Jo, she said this scholarship was a blessing. “He has always been a straight A student, so we hoped he would get a scholarship, but really weren’t sure if it would happen. The Lord has really provided and the University of Central Florida is offering him a full five years in case he wants to get a master’s degree, too.”
They live in Seffner, Fla., which is only about an hour from Orlando and UCF. “Aaron really likes the coaching staff at UCF. They made him feel like family and that was very important to him,” Bette Jo stated.
Other schools made offers, but Bette Jo said he would have to move to New Jersey or Cincinnati, and Aaron felt like those schools were just too far away.
The University of Central Florida is a Division I school and the largest university in the nation. She said that UCF has a high standard in how they choose their athletes and want students who are well-rounded in life.
“This is so surreal. We are so proud of him. He’s not just a good student or a good athlete, he’s a good all-around boy,” Bette Jo added.