It’s not surprising, genetically speaking, that Aidan Bouman is a talented football player. His father, after all, is Todd Bouman, who had a lengthy career as an NFL quarterback. Todd is now the head football coach at Buffalo High School, where Aidan is the starting quarterback.
Football, however, isn’t the only family tradition. Aidan also is following in his dad’s footsteps as a multisport athlete. Todd was on the football, basketball and track teams in high school at Russell-Tyler-Ruthton in southwest Minnesota, then played football and basketball at St. Cloud State. Aidan also plays basketball for the Bison, and that won’t change despite his announcement in June of a verbal commitment to play college football at Iowa State. He was the Cyclones’ first commitment from the Class of 2020, making the decision months before his first day of school as an 11th-grader.
“I don’t want to let my teammates down,” he said of his decision to continue playing high school basketball. “I think it really helps me develop different athletic aspects, like agility and those things. Especially building team chemistry, and a lot of the guys on the football team play basketball, too. Being with them for different sports helps in both seasons.”
Aidan had a strong opening game Friday, completing 27 of 42 passes for 311 yards for four touchdowns with no interceptions in a 38-28 win over visiting Brainerd. His scoring throws covered 37 yards to Damien Biegert, 15 yards to Tony Dahl, and 19 and 9 yards to Treyton Welch. Welch also threw a 50-yard pass to Biegert that opened the scoring for the Bison.
“He did a lot of good things,” Todd Bouman said of his son. “He comes to the sidelines and says, ‘I missed this read, I shouldn’t have missed that throw.’ There are always things to get better at, but he’s getting so much more of managing the game and not always thinking he has to make the big play, just taking the short stuff when they’re not giving us the big plays.”
Aidan is already taller this his father. Todd, 46, is 6-foot-2 and his son stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 225 pounds. Another difference is that Aidan is lefthanded. If you look at photos of both of them throwing the football, it is almost a mirror image because their motions are so similar.
The Boumans have visited a lot of colleges, including Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and Notre Dame. They visited Iowa State last spring and Aidan attended a camp there in June. That’s when he made his decision.
“They’re all great places,” he said. “I took my first visit to Iowa State before spring break and felt something special there. I’ve never met coaches as personable, the whole family feel there was incredible. They chatted with my sister and were great. And they’re building something special there.”
After Todd completed his college career in 1997, he signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent. He also had NFL stints with the Saints, Packers, Jaguars, Rams and Ravens from 1997 to 2010. He played in 44 games during his NFL career, starting seven. He was the Vikings starter for three games late in 2001 when Daunte Culpepper was injured; Bouman was named NFC offensive player of the week after he completed 21 of 31 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns against Tennessee.
He began his high school coaching career as an assistant in Buffalo in 2007, and later he helped his brother Troy, then the head coach in Pipestone. On both occasions, his coaching career was interrupted by calls to join NFL teams. This is his fifth season as the head coach of the Bison.
“I came back to high school because I had great high school coaches growing up,” Todd said. “As much as you enjoy college and the NFL, you never forget those Friday night lights with your buddies at your school.”
Aidan’s athletic genes don’t come solely from his dad. His mother, Courtney (Powers) Bouman, is in the Willmar High School Hall of Fame after a multisport career there and played volleyball at St. Cloud State. The Boumans also have a daughter, Aivary, who is a freshman at Minnesota-Duluth.
Aidan Bouman passed for two touchdowns in each half against Brainerd on Friday, using a combination of dropbacks and rollouts. It’s challenging for defenses to see a quarterback of his size, with superb footwork, rolling out and exhibiting great vision down the field. He had great pass protection, with zero sacks. The Bison offensive line includes 6-foot-8, 275-pound left tackle Hunter Poncius, who has committed to North Dakota State.
“The offensive line, I can’t say enough about them today,” Aidan said after Friday’s game. “We knew Brainerd was going to be aggressive coming in, and they did an absolutely amazing job today, no sacks, great overall play by them. And with our receivers, we have so many options it’s just hard to stop us. Obviously Treyton’s a D1 player (with offers from North Dakota State and Northern Iowa), and you saw Biegert, he caught two touchdowns right away, Tony Dahl, we have so many options and everybody played great today. It was a fun game.”
Brainerd’s Ron Stolski, who is in his 57th season as a head football coach, called Bouman “as good a quarterback as we've seen in a very long time.”
As a sophomore starter last season Aidan completed 55 percent of his passes, throwing for 16 touchdowns with eight interceptions and averaging 267 passing yards per game. He played in five games as a freshman, passing for 10 scores.
Once Aidan announced his college decision, questions started coming up about his basketball career. Some think he should concentrate on football and give up his winter sport.
“I never wanted him to specialize,” Todd said of his son, who also played baseball until a few years ago.
Aidan said, “I’ve definitely heard some of that. It goes through your head but I’ve loved basketball since I was little and we’re going to have a great team. I don’t want to miss out on any of that.”
Only one football game into his junior year, Aidan said he’s excited about what the rest of his high school career will hold, in both sports.
“I’m trying not to rush anything,” he said. “I want to enjoy these last two years of high school. My friends, I’ve known them since I was little. I want to enjoy this time with my friends.”--To see a photo gallery, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.
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