Aikens is a three-time Big South all-conference honoree, taking first-team honors in 2013 and second-team accolades in 2011 and 2012. Aikens tied for the team lead in 2013 with 62 tackles. He led the Flames and ranked third in the Big South with 50 solo tackles. He helped Liberty rank No. 5 in the country in interceptions (19), individually recording three interceptions to give him seven for his career.
Big South All-Conference second team for second year in a row... Named to Preseason All-Big South team... Made 11 starts as boundary corner... Led Liberty defensive backs with 51 tackles (39 solo, 12 assisted)... Tied for the Big South lead with three forced fumbles... Returned four punts for 42 yards... Finished season in a tie for fifth in the Big South in passes defended (7)... Made six tackles and forced a fumble in season opener at Wake Forest (Sept. 1)... Totaled nine tackles, picked off a pass and caused a fumble in comeback win over Gardner-Webb (Oct. 6)... Recorded seven tackles, all solo, at Presbyterian College (Oct. 13)... Forced a fumble against Concord on Oct. 20.
Big South All-Conference second team... Started all 11 games at boundary corner... Led the Big South and ranked No. 28 nationally with three forced fumbles... His three forced fumbles tied him for fifth on Liberty's all-time single-season list... Tied for team lead with three interceptions... Forced two fumbles during season opener at N.C. State... Picked off two passes at Lehigh, and added an interception versus Robert Morris.
Transfer from Illinois of the Big Ten... Earned All-Big Ten freshman honors from The Sporting News following the 2009 season... Played in 10 games as a true freshman, starting five games at safety... Finished the 2009 season with 32 tackles, 26 of which were solo stops, and added two pass breakups.
Graduate of Harding University High School... All-Queen City Conference Offensive Player of the Year... Name first team all-state by the Charlotte Observer... RedZone Old Spice Player of the Year in the state of North Carolina... Recorded six interceptions, running back one 104 yards for a touchdown.
Son of Michele and Walter Aikens... Birthday is on June 19... Sport management major.
- Dolphins go 'small-school' with several picks...In the lower rounds the Dolphins hit the smaller schools hard. Cornerback Walt Aikens, the fourth-round pick, attended Liberty. Tight end Arthur Lynch, the team's first fifth-round pick attended Georgia. But linebacker Jordan Tripp, the second fifth-round pick, attended Montana. Wide receiver Matt Hazel, the sixth-round pick, attended Coastal Carolina. Defensive end Terrence Fede (pronounced Fuh-day) attended Marist (NY) College. That means Taylor, Aikens, Tripp, Hazel and Fede all played against what could be considered inferior talent in college. That would seem to make NFL projections a little more difficult. Hickey, however, defended going with players from smaller schools.
"The important thing, and part of what scouting that it all comes back to, is evaluating the traits that a player has because those things you can translate those," he said. "Again, level of competition varies depending on the week from week-to-week, from game-to-game, from opponent-to-opponent. You focus on the traits and do those traits translate to success at the next level. The players we saw, we saw enough in their skill set that we feel like they will be able to translate to the next level." Regardless, the Dolphins' draft is more of a wait-and-see affair right now. They filled needs, but there's lots of room for doubt as to whether they selected NFL-quality talent. - The Sports Xchange