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    Ashton Aikens
    Ashton Aikens

    Class:
    Senior

    Hometown:
    Detroit, Mich.

    High School:
    Detroit Country Day

    Height / Weight:
    6-2 / 200

    Position:
    WR

    Birthdate:
    12/20/1982



    General: A tremendous athlete, Aikens was a four-year receiver (2001-04) for the Wildcats ... Injuries his first three years slowed his development into a top Big Ten receiver ... After playing running back in high school, NU's coaching staff moved him to receiver his freshman year where he quickly learned the position ... An outstanding leader and physical receiver ... Closed career with 70 receptions for 733 yards.

    2004: NU's Rashidi Wheeler Award recipient ... Team's fourth leading receiver with a single-season best 32 catches (401 yards) ... Caught a pass in all but one (Purdue) of the 11 games he played ... Opened the year by catching a career-high eight passes for 87 yards vs. TCU ... Had one catch for 18 yards vs. ASU ... Three receptions for 18 yards vs. Kansas ... Missed Minnesota game with a toe injury ... Returned against Ohio State and totaled three receptions for 40 yards ... Notched five catches for 48 yards vs. Indiana ... Caught one pass for 11 yards at Wisconsin ... Totaled four receptions for 43 yards at Penn State ... Three catches for 33 yards vs. Michigan ... One of his two receptions vs. Illinois went for a then-career-long 40 yards ... Two catches for 59 yards, including a career-long 49-yarder at Hawaii.

    2003: Suffered a left ACL knee injury against Minnesota and missed remainder of the season ... Underwent surgery in November and participated in non-contact drills during the spring ... Started first six games at receiver ... Totaled a season-high six receptions (for 37 yards) vs. Miami ... Registered a season-best 49 receiving yards (three catches) vs. Duke ... Had three catches for 18 yards in season-opener at Kansas ... One reception for 20 yards vs. Air Force ... Two catches for 10 yards at Ohio State ... Also had 14 rushing yards vs. the Buckeyes ... For the season, totaled 63 rushing yards on seven carries, which included a season-long rush of 25 yards (vs. Air Force).

    2002: Slowed in the preseason with a hamstring injury ... Suffered a broken left index finger in practice on Sept. 18 -- had surgery the following day and missed the Navy contest ... Came back to play at Michigan State, but did not make a catch ... Had seven catches and a TD in his last three games: three catches for a season-best 37 yards and a 2-yard run vs. Indiana; two receptions for 13 yards and a TD at Iowa; and two catches for 17 yards and a 22-yard run vs. Illinois ... Logged a 5-yard reception and a 32-yard TD run on a reverse vs. Duke .... Returned one kickoff a career-long 39 yards against TCU ... Had a pair of special teams tackles and a 15-yard run vs. Ohio State ... Totaled 12 special teams tackles for the year (had three solo hits at Penn State).

    2001: As a true freshman, played in first four games before suffering an injury against Ohio State ... Named 2001 NGN Offensive Newcomer of the Year ... After missing two games, came back to play at Purdue ... Had one catch for 25 yards and a special teams solo tackle vs. the Boilers ... Grabbed two passes for 13 yards, including his first collegiate TD -- a 6-yard catch -- at Indiana ... Caught a season-high four passes for 22 yards vs. Iowa ... Hauled in three passes for a season-best 26 yards at Illinois ... An outstanding special teams performer ... Totaled 11 solo tackles on special teams ... Registered three tackles in season-opening game at UNLV ... Caught his first pass at Duke, a 9-yarder ... Championship game performance against Bowling Green.

    High School: Detroit Free Press Michigan Fab 50 Dream Team ... SuperPrep All-Midwest Region ... PrepStar All-Midwest Region ... Detroit News Bluechip Recruit ... Named all-state and all-county after his junior and senior seasons ... Team captain ... Two-time team MVP ... Ran for 1,500 yards and 27 touchdowns his senior season ... Also caught two TD passes and returned two kickoffs for scores ... Intercepted four passes on defense ... Ran for 180 yards and five touchdowns against Ann Arbor Pioneer ... Lettered 10 times as a prep (4 -- football, 3 -- basketball, 3 -- baseball) ... High school coach was Dan MacLean.

    Personal: Born Ashton D. Aikens on 12/20/82 ... Legal guardian is Darryl Jordan, uncle ... Prep teammates Brandon Horn and Kim Thompson also were NU wide receivers ... Chose NU over Wisconsin, Michigan, Notre Dame and Michigan State ... Communication studies major ... Minoring in business institutions.

    The Aikens File
    Q: A song that best describes you is...
    A: Me Against the World -- Tupac
    Q: If you could dine with anyone from any period in history, who would it be?
    A: My mother
    Q: If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick?
    A: Scarface
    Q: If you could choose the title of your autobiography, what would it be?
    A: Test of Faith
    Q: What is the greatest lesson in life that you have learned?
    A: You can't miss what you have never had
    Q: If you had to choose the best television show ever made, which one would you pick?
    A: Classic Sports
    Q: Something people would be surprised to know about me is...
    A: I used to play the saxophone
    Q: My favorite pregame ritual is...
    A: Praying
    Q: My favorite opposing stadium to play in is...
    A: Michigan
    Q: The best book I have ever read is...
    A: Gifted Hands - the autobiography of Ben Carson
    Q: My ultimate SportsCenter highlight would be...
    A: Catching the game-winning touchdown pass in the National Championship game
    Q: My favorite place to visit is...
    A: Atlanta, Georgia
    Q: The person that inspires me the most is...
    A: My grandmother Susie Jordan
    Q: My favorite food is...
    A: Steak
    Q: When I played football as a kid, I pretended to be...
    A: Barry Sanders
    Q: In five words or less describe Coach Walker...
    A: Demanding, serious, motivated, cool and can coach
    Q: Which current NU football player is the biggest jokester?
    A: Demetrius Eaton
    

    Aikens' Career Statistics
    

    RUSHING G Att Yds TD Lg Avg/C Avg/G 2001 9 2 4 0 3 2.0 0.4 2002 11 6 70 1 32 11.7 6.4 2003 6 7 63 0 25 9.0 10.5 2004 11 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 TOTAL 37 15 137 1 32 9.1 3.7

    RECEIVING G Rec Yds TD Lg Rec/G Avg/C Avg/G 2001 9 12 106 1 25 1.3 8.8 11.8 2002 11 8 72 1 23 0.7 9.0 6.5 2003 6 18 154 0 21 3.0 8.6 25.7 2004 11 32 401 0 49 2.9 12.5 36.5 TOTAL 37 70 733 2 49 1.9 10.5 19.8

    DEFENSE G UA A Total TFL Yds PD FF FR 2001 9 11 0 11 0.0 0 0 0 0 2002 11 7 5 12 0.0 0 0 0 0 2003 6 1 0 1 0.0 0 0 0 0 2004 11 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 TOTAL 37 19 5 24 0.0 0 0 0 0

    KICK RTNS G No. Yds TD Lg Avg/R Avg/G 2001 9 12 230 0 31 19.2 25.6 2002 11 1 39 0 39 39.0 3.5 2003 6 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 2004 11 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 TOTAL 37 13 269 0 39 20.7 7.3

    ALL-PURPOSE G Rush Rec PR KR IR Total Avg/G 2001 9 4 106 0 230 0 340 37.8 2002 11 70 72 0 39 0 181 16.5 2003 6 63 154 0 0 0 217 36.2 2004 11 0 401 0 0 0 401 36.5 TOTAL 37 137 733 0 269 0 1139 30.8

    SCORING G TD Rush Pass Retn PAT 2PAT FG Total Avg/G 2001 9 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 6 0.7 2002 11 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 12 1.1 2003 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 2004 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 TOTAL 37 3 1 2 0 0 0 0 18 0.5