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Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Puncho Aiono, DT, Adams State

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Draft Diamonds Spotlight Interview: Puncho Aiono, DT, Adams State

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?
When I was attending high school there were about 3 to 4 schools that took interest in me.

How did you come to make your college decision?
The moment Adams State University offered a package deal for myself, my brother E.j and my cousin B.j; without any hesitation I accepted their offer.

Where are you training, and what are your goals for pro day/combines?
The facility I’m currently training at is Velocity. My pro day/combine goals are 40 Time: 4.80, 20 Yard Dash: 2.70, 10 Yard Dash: 1.60, Vertical Jump: 30, Broad Jump: 09’07”, 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.50, 3 Cone Drill: 7.50 and Bench Press: 32

Have any scouts met with you, and if so what are they saying?
No scouts have met with me yet.

At your position, what separates you from the others?
My talents separates me from other athletes. Wherever you put me on the field I will perform. I can throw the ball, run with the ball or block to protect the ball and play defense.
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Tell us what you look for when breaking down film?
When breaking down film I look at formations, O-Linemen tendency and personnel. These 3 things help me to elevate my game at a higher level as far as knowing when and where the ball is being ran or passed to. O-Linemen tendency helps me to know whether it’s a pass or run. The personnel helps me figure out what the play might be also.

Who was the toughest player you have ever faced?
The toughest player would definitely have to be myself. Going up againstsome of the toughest athlete was never the case, it was always me being tough on myself. Perfection is what I strive for.

If you could compare your play to one person in the NFL who would it be?
I try not to compare myself to other NFL players but just focus on my own craft in being different. The players that inspire me to elevate my game are Tamba Hali, DwightFreeney, James Harrison, Geno Atkins and Reggie White. With these players I try to take their style of play which are physicality types of moves, qucikness, speed, power and their desire to get the ball and use it in my game.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life you had to overcome, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest obstacle that I had to overcome was losing my unclePuncho in 2009. Overcoming my uncle’s passing wasn’t easy but I had to. My family helped me to overcome my uncle’s passing. Family functions which drew us closer together helped us overcome this tragedy in our family.

What system fits your style of play the best?
Any system would fit my style of play. You give me the opportunity to show you and I won’t disappoint.

What is your biggest strength?
Biggest strength would be that I’m a hard worker.

What is your biggest weakness?
Biggest Weakness is would be technique, sometimes.

If I were a GM and gave you a minute to sell yourself, what would you say?
My name is Puncho Aiono. I can play wherever you need me on the football field. If you need me to block, catch, Run for a touchdown, throw, kick a field goal, defend or tackle the person with the ball I’m the guy. You give me the opportunity to show my talents I won’t disappoint you.

Growing up, who was your role model?
Growing up my Grandpa, pop’s and uncle were my role models.

Who was your favorite team and player in the NFL and why?
The Green Bay Packers were my favorite team growing up because it was my uncle Puncho’s favorite team and that’s whom I got my name from.

If you were to have dinner with three people dead or alive who would it be?
The three people that I would have dinner with is my Grandpa VaeVae, uncle Puncho and cousin Hope Pua.

What would you buy with your first NFL paycheck?
I would first put my tiding away than help my family financially. Finding different investments to invest in so I can produce more money to help my community.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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