Hard work this offseason for Aker

Last year, Rochester WR Anthony Aker (6-2, 198) led the nation in receiving yardage and touchdowns, but he hasn't rested on that outstanding season. He's been focused this summer on improving in all apsects of the game, but he took a brief timeout recently to watch his mother complete her Bachelor's Degree and he couldn't have been happier for the woman who raised him.

"She's an amazing woman," Aker told JCFootball.com recently. "She took a course that was supposed to be three years and she finished it in a little less than two.

"She's an inspiration to me to work hard and get my degree too."

Obviously, Aker's mother is an important person in his life. So much so, that she will wait to take a full-time position until after he makes a commitment to a school.

"She's going to wait and see where I end up signing," Aker said. "We both rely on each other a lot and I think it's cool that she wants to move to where I am going to be."

On the recruiting front, Aker is still hearing from the same schools -- Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, TCU, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Vanderbilt.

"Honestly, it's just been pretty slow in that regard," Aker said. "I know it's a dead period and I've been working out really hard, so I really haven't been too worried about it so far."

Aker has been working hard to get his upper-body strength to match his overall skills.

"I'm up to 285 right now on the bench and my clean is up to 240," Aker said. "I wanted to get stronger so I can get free against press coverage and so I can be stronger when the ball is in the air."

As a freshman in 2007, Aker put up huge numbers while seeing only marginal playing time in the first four games of the season. In eight full games, Aker managed to post 70 catches for 1,362 yards and 15 touchdowns.

He's hoping to put up even bigger numbers this year, but he knows the only way he can do that is to put the time in this offseason.

We'll continue to track Aker's progress and update things as they change.

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