Aiken's mean streak sets him apart from Bowers and Sapp

by - Senior Writer -

AUDIO: David Hood's exclusive interview with Martin Aiken

BAMBERG, SC – Martin Aiken Martin Aiken
Defensive Line
6-3, 245
Bamberg, SC

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is the nastiest of the bunch, according to Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School head Butch Crosby.

Aiken joins former Bamberg stars Ricky Sapp and Da’Quan Bowers as Red Raider standouts who have made their way from the midlands to the foothills, but his high school head coach said there are differences between the three.

“Martin is not as fast as Ricky, and he isn’t as strong or as big as Da’Quan,” Crosby said during the press conference in the field house at the high school Sunday afternoon. “But he is the nastiest. He just has a mean streak that sets him apart. His motor runs all the time – he never stops. He has come a long way since we first saw him in seventh grade, but he is going to be a great one. He is like the Energizer bunny."

Aiken is the 12th commitment of the 2012 recruiting class and is one of the top players in the Palmetto State. He chose the Tigers over South Carolina and Georgia Tech in a press conference at his school, and his defensive coordinator said that Aiken is more than just a headache for opposing offenses.

“He is also a defensive coordinator’s worst nightmare,” coordinator Corey Crosby said. “He just never stops. Sometimes, we can’t get him to stop long enough to finish practice. We will try and practice one play and he is still going.”

Aiken told TigerNet following the press conference that he has always been “busy.”

“I have been that way – busy – since I was a little kid,” he said. “When I was little, I was always into everything. Everybody thought I would grow out of it, but that never happened. Still, even today, when we come out here to work out – and you see how hot and humid it is out here right now – I am always running around and working out. But I see the tradition we have here, and the players that have come through here, and that is what has conditioned me to have that motor.”

Aiken said that he also sees the differences between himself and Sapp and Bowers.

“I have always been different than both of those guys,” he said. “Whenever I see them, I realize just how different we are. We are alike in a lot of ways, too, and I know it is going to be hard to step out of their shadow, but I am going to give it my best shot. They are great ballplayers, and they have set the standard, but as far as stepping out I want to do things that Ricky and Da’Quan didn’t do. I am going to out-work everybody to do that.”

He said that Georgia Tech and South Carolina made a strong final push, but he chose the school where he felt the most comfortable.

“They made a push, and they jumped out there,” Aiken said of the Gamecocks and Yellow Jackets. “I had to sit back and reconsider some things. Both schools had a lot to offer me, and they really recruited me hard. I know they will continue to recruit me hard, right up until signing day.

“But Clemson is the place I want to spend the next four years. Every time I came up there, I felt at home. I felt like I had built a relationship with everybody, and I just felt something I had never felt before. I love all the schools that recruited me, and I appreciate all they did to recruit me. It just came down to the place I felt at home, and that was Clemson.”

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