Williams Blog: Aka brings versatility to football program
By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com PublisherFollow Chris on Twitter @ChrisMWilliams
That's what Pierre Aka will bring to the Iowa State football program when he arrives on campus this summer.
He's versatile as a football player. Aka, a 6-foot-2, 255-pound defensive end out of Indianapolis, (Ind.) Pike played everywhere from tight end, to offensive tackle, to defensive tackle and center as a high schooler.
Aka is a versatile human being as well. Aka intends to major in nuclear engineering when his classes begin at Iowa State.
“I’m really excited. I think that it (football) is just one step of what I’m hoping to accomplish at Iowa State," Aka recently told CycloneFanatic.com. "I’m excited for the summer to get in there and get to work right away from day one.”
Aka played tight end for the bulk of his junior season. Due to depth issues on his high school team, Aka played on the offensive line for the majority of his senior season - though he did record 23 tackles and three sacks on defense.
However, Aka is excited to start off as a defensive end at Iowa State, but insists he'll do whatever head coach Paul Rhoads asks of him during his four (or five) years in a Cyclone uniform.
“I said that I want to play defensive end but I can also play tight end," said Aka. "He said that he needs me at defensive end. I like defensive end. I like getting to the quarterback.”
During his National Signing Day press conference, Rhoads said that Aka's frame is appealing as a future defensive lineman.
“We’re trying to increase our size, both height and weight at the defensive end position. He comes in already at about 245 pounds now, let alone what he’ll be in June when he arrives," said Rhoads. "That addresses that need at the defensive end position."
"I think the biggest mistake that a recruiter can make is recruit a young man at somewhere other than where he desires to play. Pierre had that background and at one point he wanted to be a tight end but in the end, he saw himself as a defensive end and defensive lineman. That’s exactly where we locked in and recruited him as.”
Aka is one of five defensive linemen in Iowa State's 2012 class that was inked last week.