By Ashley Denny.
Bamberg, SC– Defensive End Tiger commitment Martin Aiken spoke with TCI Monday evening following Clemson’s upset over #10 nationally ranked Virginia Tech. Aiken spoke about his trip to Death Valley for the Auburn game, how his senior season is going, and his excitement about getting to Tiger Town for good, and making an impact immediately.
First of all Martin, Talk a little bit about your season so far at Bamberg, what’s your record so far? Personal stats?
We’re doing pretty well, we’re 5-1. We’ve started to use Clemson’s One Dream One Team mentality and have really started to come together as a unit. Like Clemson, we’re hoping to not lose another game and I feel like if we keep playing together as a team, we’ll be in good shape.
Personally, I had 3 sacks last Friday night but I’m not sure how many I’ve had throughout the season, I’ve had a few.
Your trip to Clemson for the Auburn game, you couldn’t have picked a better weekend to come up, what was your experience like?
Every experience I’ve had in Clemson has been a great one, even as a recruit. As a commitment it hasn’t been different. I feel at home when I’m in Clemson. I got to see my fellow commitments and friends like Ronnie Geohaghan and TJ Burrell when I was there for the Auburn game and that was great because I’m going to be spending a lot of time with them when we enroll, I’m glad to be spending time and bonding with those guys now so we’ll have a good relationship as teammates. We’re all very excited to get to Clemson.
Have you ever heard a stadium as loud as Death Valley was against Auburn?
No, I’ve never been to a football game that’s been louder than Death Valley. It was such a great experience hearing all of the fans getting pumped up and watching my future teammates win. I was so mad that I couldn’t make it to the Florida State game but I watched it on TV and couldn’t believe that it was just as loud if not louder than the week before. I didn’t think it could get louder than it was versus Auburn.
What has Coach Swinney said to you when you’ve had the chance to meet with him one on one?
Well my mom and I met with him over the summer, and what we both took away from the meeting was that he has his players’ best interest at heart. He wants to see his players’ graduate, which is really important to me. My librarian at school is a diehard South Carolina fan, and from my experience with Clemson she’s been able to see what a great coach Clemson has in Coach Swinney, and from watching the games has seen what a great atmosphere Clemson has and is really excited for me now going there.
Did you believe that your future teammates would have as much success as they’re having?
I definitely did. I knew when I saw who all signed with them in 2011; I got a feeling that there wasn’t anybody who could stop them. They’re playing as one unit. What really makes me excited is the amount of young guys that are getting significant playing time right off the bat. When I see guys like Corey Crawford and Sammy Watkins, it makes me want to be on the field so bad. I don’t care if I only play on special teams; I hope to make an immediate impact for Clemson when I get there.
I’m a firm believer in the saying, Offense sells tickets, but Defense wins games. How have you seen Clemson’s defense improve over the past few games? Especially against VA Tech?
They are a group of guys that continue to grow and learn. Every game they’re improving which is so impressive. Last weekend, they didn’t allow any touchdowns against Virginia Tech, the reigning ACC Champs, which just makes me want to get up there and be a part of that.
Talk about the publicity that your future team is getting, how exciting is that for you and your family to see and how will that help Clemson in recruiting?
Everyone’s congratulating me still; they didn’t realize what a big decision I made. A lot of my friends, and the nation didn’t realize what a great place Clemson is. Now they’re finally starting to realize how wonderful it is, and are starting to believe in this football program. As for recruiting, this publicity is just adding fuel to the fire. We’re going to get noticed by more and more top recruits because of the season they’re having this year. They’re making winning a tradition at Clemson.
When are you planning on making your next trip to Clemson?
I wanted to come up this weekend for Boston College but my team is doing some community work here in Bamberg so I want to be here for that. But I will definitely be making a trip up to Clemson again before the season’s over.