DEARBORN, Mich. (FOX 2) - There wasn't a face in the crowd in Divine Child High School's gymnasium that wasn't smiling when the Detroit Lions' first round draft pick was announced.
"I think the sky is the limit for Aidan. I think he's going to do great things for the Lions. I think he's going to lead the Lions to a championship," said one man, following the announcement the "hometown hero" would be playing in Detroit.
Flanked by family, Aidan Hutchinson's name was the second announced during the NFL Draft Thursday night. He had a big grin on his face when the commissioner announced the pick. But compared to his fans back home, his show of emotion was almost reserved.
"Being a Lion is going to be awesome. So we're really blessed. We're really proud of him and his family and we're just proud that his roots are right here, right here at Divine Child," said Bob McCabe, a pastor at Divine Child.
"He was my DJ in class. He played our Spanish music every day so he was always our hype man and we're excited to be his hype crowd when he's out there on the field," said Gina Delgado, his Spanish teacher.
A testament to the University of Michigan football standout's reputation in the community can be traced back decades when his went through the same school.
"He comes from a great family. I actually taught his mom when she was here. I've been here 42 years so I've seen a lot and he's just a special kid and the family is just really as humble as he is," said Patricia Poirier, Hutchinson's anatomy teacher.
Current football players at the Dearborn school, along with hundreds of other community members were all gathered for the big announcement, which is seen as the Detroit Lions' hopeful pivot toward a more successful football campaign next season.
The selection of Hutchinson this high up should surprise nobody as he was a Heisman Trophy finalist last year in Ann Arbor. But the fact that he was even available at the second spot - that's the part that may surprise many.
"To the city, just know that I am going to be giving it my all. It was such an honor to be on that stage and to be picked by the Lions. It was the Lions all the way. For the whole draft process, I wanted them to pick me. I am so grateful I went No. 2 to them."
Many NFL writers and scouts believe Hutchinson is the most NFL-ready player in the 2022 draft. NFL experts think he will notch double-digit sacks every year.
The total tackles was on par for what Hutchinson did in 2019 - when he had 68 total tackles - but the sacks were a huge jump from 4.5 in 2019 to 14 in 2021. The 2020 season was abbreviated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Hutchinson had 13 tackles and zero sacks.
The Detroit Lions weren't done after the second pick, however. They also traded up for Jameson Williams, a wide receiver from Alabama and a speedy one at that.