McALLEN — An 11-year-old Aaron Nixon had just won a national championship with his 11U baseball team. After being named the game’s Most Valuable Player, Nixon was interviewed on the field.

“So, where do you want to go? You thinking about playing college down the road? Who would you like to play for?” the interviewer asked.

“UT,” Nixon immediately answered.

On Wednesday, in the McAllen High School gym, an 18-year-old Nixon signed a national letter of intent to play for the University of Texas.

“It’s been a long road. A lot of ups and downs, but you have to stay even-keeled,” Nixon said. “I just thank everybody who helped me along the way. It’s just a great time in my life right now.”

It was a full house on hand to watch Nixon put pen to paper, something he’s dreamed of since he was a child.

“I’ve always wanted to go to UT. I have pictures of me, 4 years old with a UT cap on, UT shirt on, swinging a bat,” Nixon said. “My dad was a big Texas Tech guy, but my cousin Roman was a huge UT guy. Then I saw Tres Barrera and he was a big UT guy, so I just fell into that. And I love burnt orange, so it’s going to be a great opportunity.”

Nixon originally received an offer from the University of Texas when he was in the eighth grade, which made him the youngest player to ever receive an offer from UT. That added pressure on him as a freshman entering his first year at McAllen High.

His father, Beau, said he’s most proud of how Aaron managed the situation and proved he’s worthy of everything coming his way.

“A lot of work has gone into this and I’m just so proud of him because he worked so hard. It wasn’t given to him, it was earned. He was able to maintain performing all these years,” Beau said. “He came into high school with so much hype and high expectations. For any 15-year-old coming in, that’s hard to deal with, and he was able to deal with it and excel.”

The younger Nixon thanked the upper-classmen who helped him his first year in high school.

“Ever since I was a freshman, I had all this hype around me. The seniors helped me stay grounded and be a team player. I learned a lot that year and I think it helped me a lot,” Nixon said.

During his three-year high school career at McHi, Nixon has accumulated a 20-4 record as a starting pitcher, 276 strikeouts and a 0.89 ERA in 165.1 innings. At the plate, he holds a .456 batting average, 144 hits, 100 runs scored, 75 RBIs and four home runs.

He’s also part of Texas’ No. 1-ranked 2019 recruiting class, according to BaseballAmerica.com.

“I want to win, so I’ll do anything it takes,” he said.

bramos@themonitor.com