Aikens, a DB out of Liberty University (also the school I attend, Go Flames!), has watched his stock soar from a 7th round prospect/priority free agent to a solid 3rd/4th round prospect.
Recently, Mel Kiper was noted as saying that Aikens’ stock has grown more than anyone’s over this draft season. Aikens projects as an aggressive corner who relies on physicality and instincts. Coming off a very strong Senior Bowl where he proved he could play well against strong competition, he’s become a very real option for the Cowboys in May.
So without further adieu, enjoy our interview with Walt Aikens:
DCN: What do you consider your biggest strengths as a player?
[pull_quote_center]Walt: My physicality, knowledge of the game, athleticism, and passion.[/pull_quote_center]
DCN: Which scheme are you most comfortable in? Do you feel more comfortable playing man or zone coverage?
[pull_quote_center]Walt: I’m comfortable in both man and zone. I prefer man over zone because as a bigger corner I like to bully wide outs at the line.[/pull_quote_center]
DCN: Being from a smaller university in Liberty, what are some of the challenges that you face headed into the next level?
[pull_quote_center]Walt: I don’t think there will be anything too challenging because at the end of the day, no matter where you’re from or what school you came from, once you step on the field you have to play football.[/pull_quote_center]
DCN: What about your time at Liberty has prepared you for success at the next level?
[pull_quote_left]Walt: I’ve learned how to really study and break down my opponents. I’ve worked on the little things technique wise. Just trying to master my craft.[/pull_quote_left]
DCN: Early on at Illinois, you found yourself in some trouble, how have you grown as a person and is this behavior something of the past?
[pull_quote_center]Walt: I’ve matured and realized that I have to make better decisions. That incident could have easily been avoided if I would have listened to the core values that my parents have instilled in me since birth. It was my first and last time ever getting in that kind of trouble. I learned from my mistakes, moved on from my mistakes and have made the most of the opportunities given to me. It’s a blessing that everything worked out the way it did. That situation humbled me but also made me more hungry.[/pull_quote_center]
DCN: Liberty has produced NFL talent in Rashad Jennings and Mike Brown; do you talk to these guys? If so, what advice have they given you?
[pull_quote_center]Walt: I talk to Mike Brown and Chris Summers on a regular basis, they encourage me to stay focused, constantly reminding me that the NFL is a business and I have to stay on my toes.[/pull_quote_center]
DCN: Who was the toughest receiver you ever matched up against at the collegiate level?
[pull_quote_center]Walt: My teammate at Illinois, Arrelious (Rejus) Benn; a strong, physical receiver with precision routes and great hands.[/pull_quote_center]
DCN: Which NFL player do you best compare yourself to?
[pull_quote_center]Walt: I would say Richard Sherman. We are both long athletic corners who can not only talk the talk but also walk the walk![/pull_quote_center]
DCN: If you could tell fans anything about yourself what would it be?
[pull_quote_center]Walt: They should know that every time I step on the field I expect to dominate. I play with an attitude and will not back down from anyone or anything. Who ever lines up across from me will know that nothing comes easy and it’s going to be a battle every play. I would also like the fans to know that outside of football I am a very sociable “people person” and I enjoy meeting and interacting with you all![/pull_quote_center]
#CowboysNation, what do you think about Walt Aikens wearing The Star in 2014?
Follow Walt Aikens on Twitter @Allstar_AIK: