Blue Light Special: Aaron Tiller

By: William Carroll

As we have for the past several years, originally for FanIQ and now for Nuts And Bolts Sports we tell the stories that are all too often left untold. About 260 players will be drafted in four weeks. Frankly most of them won’t make it. There are 32 NFL teams and only 53 players on an active roster that’s 1,560 jobs, but only 10%-15% of those jobs become available per year. As ghoulish as it sounds but if you’re an NFL prospect your success is predicated on another player’s failure, injury or loss of ability or value. Each new player enters the league as a “vulture” feeding on the carcass of another athlete’s career. We have begun our series of draft “Blue Light Specials” and the latest is pass-rusher par excellence Aaron Tiller.

1. I have had the pleasure of watching your career from your time at Southern University.  What would you say are the 5 biggest and best lessons you’ve learned on your journey?

My biggest lessons were: 

1. Be patient and don’t panic{k} [sic] 
2. Control the things you can control
3. Hold yourself accountable at all times
4. [Be] Quick to listen slow to speak
5. Become the best version of you and success will follow 

2. The next question, you played for Darren Waters at Licking Heights High School High School, what was that program like and what kind of coach was he? 

We had a ‘smash mouth’ football [team], very basic but effective.

3. Who were your major rivals in High School and College? 

Watkins Memorial [High School] and Grambling State

4. Your home area is loaded with talent who are some of the best players you played with or against while you were in college, high school or growing up? 

Columbus is loaded with great talent all over and some of the best players I’ve played against was, [sic were]probably Martez Carter and DeVante Kincade.

5. What was your recruitment process like, who was interested and how did you choose your school? 

Recruitment was slow. I was committed to Western Michigan and the offer was pulled away then Southern blessed me with a scholarship a week before signing day.

6. What was the best game and the biggest play you made as a high school player? 

A sack fumble to seal the game and playoff berth 

7. What was you big “Welcome to College Football” Moment?

My first game
I missed a wide open TFL because of the transition of game speed

8. What is your current height/weight and what are your testing numbers?

6’0 250 lbs., 4.68 40, 34 inch vert
ical jump, Bench: 29 [repetitions] of 225, 9’8” broad jump

9. How have the systems and staffs at at your school impacted your development? 

They show nothing but love and support

10. Which coaches have had the greatest impact on you and why?

Juan Navarro and Dawson Odums. They believed me and coached me as a football player and didn’t allow my size to cripple me.

11. How hard was to adjust to the verbiage, system and play-book and when did you feel 100% comfortable?

Not really, all I had to do was go out and do it physically and it all became simple.

12. Who have been your favorite teammates, and why?

Austin Howard, Dillon Beard, Danny Johnson and Kentavius Preston because we all came in together and finished together, held each other accountable and led the team as a unit.

13. Who have been your favorite opponents and why?

Marte(x {Sic})z carter and DeVante Kincade. You know they are going to bring it every time and we bring the best out of each other

14. If you could put together a list of your favorite players to watch or emulate, who is on that list and why?

Ray Lewisleadership

Terrell{e} Suggs/James Harrison- bullies

Elvis Dumervil- relentless and allows no limitations

15. What NFL teams are your favorites and why?

Cleveland Browns, I always root for underdogs. 

16. Which NFL players do you think your game most closely resembles and why?

Ray Lewisleadership
Terrell{e} Suggs [sic]/James Harrison- bullies.
Elvis Dum{m}ervil{l} [sic]– relentless and allows no limitations

17. When football is over what would you like to do with your education?

I will like to put together a non-profit organization that helps inner-city kids use their talent to get to school because of the lack of resources

18. Finally if you could go back in time to talk to 17 year-old you, what would you tell him?

 Shut up and listen.

19. And what would you do differently if you could do it all over again?

Not a chance !

20. What [if any] is/are your nickname[s] and how did you get it/them?

My nickname is Tillz. No reason how I got it


(Pic Credit Advocate Staff Photo by: Travis Spradling)


William Carroll
About William Carroll 32 Articles
am now in my fourth decade as a published writer. The Answer Newspaper first carried my sports column over 30 years ago; additionally, I am a published poet, playwright, and military historian. I am a founding member of MPAACT. I have also written for Black Sports Online, Football Reporters Online, and oversaw HBCU Scouting for Consensus Draft Services. Currently, Consensus Draft Services is in a content providing relationship with My broadcasting career is also long established. I have co-hosted “Local Color” on WEFT, “The Draft-Tastic 4,” and the Sports Chronicles Radio Network. I hosted “Feeling A Draft” and CDS “Pro Prospects Radio.” I have also taught broadcasting at Kennedy-King College.

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