Offer From the Champs Excites Aiken

Highly-regarded defensive lineman Martin Aiken says he holds the Tigers in high regard after a junior day visit to Auburn.

Bamberg, S.C.--Ehrhardt High defensive line standout Martin Aiken came away from his junior day visit to Auburn with a lot of interest in the Tigers.

"The visit went good," says 6-3, 252-pound junior, who notes that he enjoyed watching the 2010 Tigers post a 14-0 record and win the BCS championship and wanted to check out Coach Gene Chizik's program in person.

"I figured out I was going to like it from TV because it is a big family thing," Aiken says. "When I got to Auburn I found they are closer than I even thought."

The prospect toured campus and watched Auburn's first full pads practice of the spring at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday.

"On the practice field they were really getting after each other, but at the same time they were picking each other up and telling each other to work harder," he points out. "It is amazing how much they are like us. Back home in Bamberg we are the same way. All of us are like family."

Aiken, who says he is up to 25 to 26 scholarship offers, has one from the Tigers. "I never thought I would get an offer from the national champions, but it came," he says. "I have had it since February."

Auburn is a program that stands out to the defensive lineman. "I am still trying to stay open, but Auburn is going to be one of my top schools," he says. "It is a good place. It is hard to ignore them."

Aiken doesn't have a grouping of his top college choices yet. "I am going to try to make more trips before cutting down the list," he says.

Commenting on the Tigers, he says, "It was my first trip up to Auburn and I hope it is not the last because I liked it. I am going to try to come back again."

Being recruited by Jay Boulware for Auburn, he describes the coach as a "good guy." Aiken is coming off a strong junior season that has attracted plenty of attention from plenty of college coaches.

"Last year I had 106 tackles with 13 sacks and 36 tackles for a loss," says Aiken, who is interested in studying business management in college. In the classroom the lineman says he is on the "B" honor roll at his school. "I am working on the A honor roll," he says. "I want to be the best that I can be on and off the field.

Commenting about what is his strength as a football player, he says, "I think it is the fact that I can play in any situation. I can be a power player when I need to or a speed player when I need to. I can play defensive end or I can slide down and play defensive tackle.?I can be an inside or outside type of guy."

Still just 17 years old, Aiken says he expects to be bigger by the time he is ready for college football. "I am still growing," he notes.

In addition to playing football for his high school, he is on the basketball team and competes in the shot put, discus and the 4x100 relay for the track team.

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