Seminoles like Olympic Heights grad Will Aime in new defensive end job


Wally Aime and Florida State’s coaches were on the same page. A position change made the most sense for Aime and the Seminoles.

FSU is loaded with talented defensive tackles, one of the deepest positions on the team in 2018. But defensive end is a different story, with the Seminoles losing Josh Sweat and Jalen Wilkerson as early entries to the            NFL Draft.

*More Palm Beach Post sports coverage

“The coaches have seen that I have the athletic ability to go out there and play in space,” said Aime, a former Olympic Heights High standout. “I’m glad they have seen that and I can capitalize on the opportunity.”

The move could pay off for the 6-foot-5, 295-pound Aime. The redshirt senior has 35 tackles, four quarterback hurries and has also blocked a pair of extra-point attempts in his two seasons at FSU (he transferred after playing one season and missing another due to injury at a junior college in Kansas).

FSU has a speedy edge rusher in junior Brian Burns, who had 48 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season. But coaches are looking for another defensive end on the other side of the line, a run-stopper who can also pressure the passer. Aime has by far the most experience of the backups who are now in position to fight for starting jobs this fall.

“He’s a bigger guy, first and foremost,” FSU coach Willie Taggart said. “He’s a little more athletic than you think he would be. For a guy that played for the most part to the strength of the opposing team’s offense, he’s a guy we think can get out there and dominate.”

Aime discussed the move in January with assistant Odell Haggins, who coaches FSU’s defensive tackles. It’s also a selfless decision, changing positions for his final college season as he attempts to help the Seminoles while also potentially making himself more visible for NFL teams.

So far, Aime says he is happy with the decision and enjoys his new position. He can see the improvement each day in practice and is beginning to feel more comfortable at defensive end, where he will often face tight ends instead of a double-team when he was at defensive tackle.

“Playing D-tackle, you have to do things a lot quicker,” Aime said. “Defensive end, it’s more of a transition time. You have more ability to work in space, and get off the ball and build up to what you have to do.”

What Aime has done so far is show his athleticism and ability to wrap up running backs. He also prepared in the offseason by watching film of one of the NFL’s most dominant pass rushers.

“I watch a lot of J.J. Watt film,” Aime said of the Houston Texans’ star. “I see the way he gets off (at the snap) and the way he uses his power. I would say I’m similar to him in height, weight, strength and power, so I try to emulate him as best I can.”

Nobody at FSU is expecting Aime to produce like Watt. But Aime’s dedication to film study and hard work on the practice field has shown in the first week of FSU’s spring practices.

New defensive ends coach Mark Snyder has also been a frequent voice in his ear, encouraging Aime and refining his pass-rush skills.

“Coach Snyder plays to your strengths and your abilities,” Aime said. “I commend him for that. Obviously I may not be as quick as Brian Burns but I feel like I can contribute to this team with my power and my intelligence. He helps me maximize my abilities.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Dolphins WR DeVante Parker still struggling with injury, reduced to spot appearances
Dolphins WR DeVante Parker still struggling with injury, reduced to spot appearances

The Dolphins like having wide receiver DeVante Parker available, but it’s become clear they aren’t counting on him this season. Parker was active against the Bears after missing the previous game because of a quadriceps injury, and Miami’s intention was primarily to use him whenever Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant or Kenny Stills needed...
Dolphins bring back OT Sam Young (again), waive S Maurice Smith
Dolphins bring back OT Sam Young (again), waive S Maurice Smith

The Dolphins have cut and re-signed Sam Young four times, and he’s back with the team again two days after his most recent release. Miami signed Young again today and waived second-year safety Maurice Smith to make room for him. Young’s return gives the team two offensive tackles behind starters Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James. When...
Dolphins DE Charles Harris’ injury further depletes defensive line
Dolphins DE Charles Harris’ injury further depletes defensive line

The Dolphins sunk substantial resources into this year’s defensive line and they’re already down to using players who began the season on their practice squad. The latest significant injury is Charles Harris, the 2017 first-round pick. Harris hurt his calf on the final play of last Friday’s practice and was held out of the team&rsquo...
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill out indefinitely, but expected back this season
Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill out indefinitely, but expected back this season

Everything is up in the air for the Dolphins when it comes to starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s injured throwing shoulder. As the team prepares for this week’s home game against the Lions, the only certainties coach Adam Gase offered today were that Tannehill will be the starter when he returns and this is not a season-ending injury...
Miami Dolphins Snap Conclusions: Who played a lot, who didn’t
Miami Dolphins Snap Conclusions: Who played a lot, who didn’t

The Dolphins stunned the Bears 31-28 in overtime at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday.  Miami did it without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who is out for an unknown period of time with a shoulder injury.   The Dolphins also did it without starters Cam Wake and Bobby McCain on defense.   Here are five things we noticed about...
More Stories