NFL Draft Diamonds

NFL Draft, NFL Trade Rumors, Scouting Reports & More

2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Carlton Aiken Jr., QB, Pace University

Carlton Aiken Jr. the star quarterback from Pace University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
Carlton Aiken Jr. the star quarterback from Pace University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds owner Damond Talbot.
  • Name: Carlton Aiken Jr
  • Position: Quarterback
  • College: Pace University
  • Height: 6’2
  • Weight: 215
  • Twitter: caiken_2
  • Instagram: caiken2

What makes you a top prospect at your position in the 2023 NFL Draft?

My game translates extremely well to the next level. Experience and my playmaking ability are what sets me apart. I’ve played and excelled in 4 different offensive systems during my college career. This upcoming fall will be my 7th college season. My knowledge of the game is far more advanced than any other player in my position. I can call/check into plays depending on the look the defense is giving me. I know what schemes will be a perimeter High-Low, Interior High-Low, or plays that will horizontally or vertically stretch hook-curl defenders. I know when to slide protections to 3 techniques if I want man blocks on the back side or if I want to pick up a blitz. I’m a true field general and a player-coach if you will. I can retain information at a high level and then communicate it efficiently. Along with experience, my ability to handle high-pressure situations is another great attribute of mine. Whether it’s 3rd down, the 4th quarter, or overtime, I know how to keep my composure in these situations. I have 4 game-winning drives in my career when we needed a touchdown or a field goal to win. Secondly, my play style is different from any other QB in the 2023 draft class. I’m not your typical Dual Threat QB, I’ve played 3 different positions(QB, RB, WR) while in college, and my athleticism is my greatest attribute. My play style is very dynamic. Accuracy, Arm Strength, and Velocity are all tools that I have. Depending on the week I can throw for 400 or I can run for 200.

At what age were you first interested in the sport of football?

7 years old. I grew up an Eagles fan, I remember looking at Donovan McNabb on TV and saying to myself I want to be like him and play for the Eagles one day. That same year(2005) I started playing football for the Upper Dublin Cardinals Pee Wee Team.

What is one thing that NFL teams should know about you?

I’ve played in college for 7 years and for 4 different universities. I’ve played at Division 1 Central Connecticut State University (‘16), Junior College Lackawanna College (‘17), Division 2 Pace University(‘18-‘22), and Division 1 Gardner Webb University (Spring ‘21) before transferring back to Pace.

If you could donate to one cause in the world, what would it be?

I would donate to a Climate Change organization. I think there are many ways we are destroying our earth. I know there isn’t a definite way to stop climate change but I think we need to come up with a way to slow it. This is the only Earth we have so we need to protect it.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“Be so great they can’t ignore you”. My dad told me this on my very first day of football practice in 2005. Whenever I would complain about playing time or things not going my way he would say “be so great they can’t ignore you”. This is something I kept with me all these years. Especially being at a small Division 2 school, I know that if I leave no doubt out on the field or in life, I can achieve anything I want.

Who was your childhood hero?

My dad. I saw my dad work two jobs and provide for his family. My family has never had to struggle or want for anything. He is still my hero today. He has raised all of my siblings to be outstanding members of society and firm believers in God. I saw my dad treat my mother like a Queen and my brothers like kings. I want to be like him when I get older.

Who is the most underrated teammate in your locker room at your school?

Ramir Tann-Davis. I’ve played at Division 1 schools and at a Juco with players who are now in the NFL. Ramir Tann-Davis is the best WR I have ever played with. He is extremely dynamic. He led the nation in all-purpose yards for half the season last year at WR and KR.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is people who lie or try to sugarcoat things. I want to know the truth regardless of how it might make me feel. I have thick skin and I can handle anything.

Overcoming adversity is what defines character, what was the hardest moment in your life to overcome?

In my first year at Pace University, I was the third-string Quarterback heading into the season. I didn’t start the first 3 games of the season. Due to unfortunate injuries to the 1st and 2nd string Quarterbacks, I got my first start. I started for 3 games going 2-1. I had 3 great games, scoring 11 times. Unfortunately for me, after finally earning the starting job and having success, I tore a ligament in my left foot, sidelining me for the rest of the season. This was very upsetting for me because I was finally having the success I wanted and worked for. However, I worked extremely hard the next offseason and the following year I received Offensive Player of The Year in the NE-10 conference.

Tell me something about your school and why it is so special to you?

What makes Pace so special to me is my Head Coach. Andy Rondeau. Coach Rondeau actually coached my dad at Northeastern University in the 90s and I’ve known him practically my whole life. After leaving my JUCO, I was under-recruited and Coach Rondeau was one of the only coaches to open up his arms and offer me. Pace itself is so special to me because of the opportunities they have blessed me with. I was selected to have a sit down with CBS CEO Phil Ianello, lead social justice rallies and have a personal relationship with President Marvin Krislov. Pace has a special place in my heart.

What is your favorite snack food?

Peanut Chews, hands down. It’s a chocolate candy that is served primarily in Philadelphia and Select Cracker Barrels across the nation.

What is the best part of football?

The mental game. Studying/Preparing for defense all week and when the game comes around, everything you see on tape is exactly what you see during the game. This is the best part for me because in the past this was the weakest part of my gam. I’ve always been very athletic but I had to work 10 times harder to mentally prepare for an opponent.

If you could sell yourself in one sentence what would you say?

You’ll be getting an extremely smart, dynamic football player who has a chip on his shoulder and a hunger to be perfect.

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL who would it be?

Robert Griffin iii. He is someone I have modeled my game after. He is my favorite college football player of all time. I actually grew my hair out to get braids just like him.

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would it be and why?

My grandmother because I miss her very deeply. Jesus Christ, I want to know how I can be a better Christian. Robert Griffin iii because I want to ask him if he could be a mentor of mine.


Leave a Reply