Martin Aiken (6'3 245, 4.9 40) finally ended his recruitment today and picked the team we knew he would for some time now. The Bamberg product had Georgia Tech and Sakerlina in his top 3 with Clemson, but he grew up a CU fan and we knew he was coming here unless someone screwed up. He fills an immediate talent need at DE this cycle with the more raw Shaq Lawson, and now Clemson has filled their need of 2 Ends in the class. Now you'll see us go into oversign mode.
Aiken is listed as a Strongside End but at this weight he's almost guaranteed to be moved to Bandit End until he grows. If he puts on serious weight, he could be moved to the 3-technique. His best skill on tape is his first step off the snap, but he's not so much a power guy as he is simply faster than everyone he faces. Aiken is very quick for a big guy and his agility/footwork is outstanding for his size. As good as his footwork is, with the addition of Hobby's hand technique teaching, he could be a very good football player here. He even has a reputation as a mean player, meaning he's the perfect replacement for Branch when he graduates.
As a Jr, he racked up 112 tackles and 13 sacks with 36 TFL. As a sophomore he pulled down 35 tackles and 5 sacks. He's rated the #15 DE nationally by Rivals and the 189th player overall. He's rated the #12 DE by Scout. The most recent April Combine shows he ran a 4.81 40 and benched 185 23x, with a 4.56 shuttle run.
He was originally recruited by Chris Rumph for Clemson, and recently by Marion Hobby. He's our 12th verbal commitment out of 16 "official" spots, and 2 of those are reserved for Kevin Dodd and Isaiah Battle next January. We expect Clemson to sign a total of 18 minimum.