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Countdown to kickoff: Day 20

Cyclone Fanatic is counting down the days until Iowa State’s season opener against Northern Iowa by bringing you a stat, former Cyclone moment or any other random tidbits every morning to help countdown the days.

No. 20 – Pierre Aka’s tackles in 2015

Few players on Iowa State’s roster will be asked to make a bigger jump in production in 2016 than redshirt senior defensive tackle Pierre Aka. It isn’t any secret that depth in the interior of the defensive line is one of Iowa State’s biggest weaknesses, which puts Aka in a position of having to step up during his final season in Cardinal and Gold.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 295-pound, Indianapolis-native made 20 tackles during his junior season with the Cyclones, including half a tackle for loss, while playing mainly as a reserve. He made a career-high five tackles in the team’s loss to Toledo.

Aka also registered six tackles while playing in seven games during his sophomore season.

The former three-star recruit will likely sit atop the Iowa State depth chart at defensive tackle when UNI rolls into town on Sept. 3, giving Aka a chance to elevate his game from the first snap.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.