It's not every day that a high school football recruit says that they want to major in nuclear engineering. That, however, happens to be the case for Indiana tight end Pierre Aka out of Pike High School. "I'm a really unique person. When I was looking at different jobs I was interested in engineering came up," said Pierre. "When I was little I was watching this show and I wondered how they created all those buildings, and how did they make sure everything was right. I've always been good at Math and Science, so it seems natural for me."
Not only is it unique for a teenager to have a grasp for what they want to do in the future, but Pierre also understands why he wants to major in engineering. "In the next ten years nuclear engineering needs more people. Creating power sources interests me, and I know not many people are into it but I am," he said. His future job choice isn't the only aspect about him that makes him unique. "I was born in France, and my parents are from Africa. I moved to the United States when I was eleven, so I don't remember too much," Pierre said. His full name is Pierre Jean-Baptist Aka, which gives a great sense of his heritage.
Combine his smarts and self-awareness with his 6-foot-4, 250-pound frame and you have a football prospect that will garner some serious attention. "There's a lot of schools that are interested, and that have been recruiting me right now. I have a top four though of Stanford, Michigan, Northwestern, and Penn State," Aka said. Academics has obviously been a main focus for him, and he's serious about his future. "A school like Indiana, they don't offer my major so they're automatically at the bottom of the list. Michigan and Stanford are both ranked high for their engineering schools, so they stick out to me," he said.
Outside of the classroom and on the football field Aka believes he has a high ceiling, and room for improvement. "I'm a little raw right now. I've been playing since I was in eighth grade, but I'm a run blocking tight end," Pierre said. His high school team runs a spread offense that typically only uses tight ends for blocking. That hasn't stopped him, though, from making his presence on the field. "I finish every play. When I step on that line I'm looking to destroy the guy in front of me. I don't stop until the whistle blows twice, and I'm not the tight end that catches a ton of balls but I still make plays," he said.
With regards to Michigan specifically, Pierre has been in contact with the coaching staff and plans to look further into how he would fit with Michigan. "I've talked to Coach Borges and he said they're going to evaluate me and that we'll stay in contact," he said. While no offer has been extended yet, tight end is a position of need for the Wolverines. The next moves for Aka will be to take visits, and continue to build relationships with coaching staffs.