Bandit Holds Up Pokes Defense

Oct. 16, 2001

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

At the college level, you don't see many 215-pound footballplayers at defensive tackle.

University of Wyoming football player Jon Aimone was forced to play some atdefensive tackle last season as a sophomore because of several injuriesalong UW's defensive front.

Now as a junior, and about 20 pounds heavier, Aimone is back at his normalposition at bandit.

In UW's defensive scheme, the bandit is a combination outside linebacker anddefensive end. The bandit is the playmaker on the defense, often asked andexpected to sack the quarterback or stop the ball carrier behind the line ofscrimmage.

Patrick Chukwurah typified what the bandit is supposed to do last seasonwith 100 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss and seven quarterbacks sacks.

Aimone was slated to back up senior Tim Glynn at bandit this season. Thecoaches hoped the backup role would ease Aimone into the lineup and alsoallow him time to put more bulk on his 238-pound frame.

But a nagging shoulder injury to Glynn forced Aimone into more playing timethan he expected.

So far, Aimone's done just fine.

"If all our guys on our team played as hard as Jon Aimone, we would be justfine," UW coach Vic Koenning said. "Jon plays with a high motor that we tryto get all of our guys to do every day."

Aimone was named UW's top front-seven player on the defense following theColorado State game Sept. 29. He also was honored recently to be one of aselect few defensive players to wear a black jersey in practice for his"warrior-like" effort in games.

Aimone has started three of six games this season and has played in all six.He's recorded 25 total tackles, three tackles for loss and has one of theCowboys' five quarterback sacks.

"I had hoped to have a couple of more sacks by now," Aimone said. "But thathasn't been falling into place for me.

"But things have gone pretty good, actually. I am playing more than Iexpected."

Although the sacks haven't come as frequently as Aimone would like, Aimone'spredecessor at bandit said he thinks he's is doing a great job.

"He's been doing everything he's supposed to do," Glynn said. "He's arelentless football player, like a crazed dog. He's always going all out."

Aimone said the more he plays at bandit, the more comfortable he becomes.

The coaches would like to see him gain another 20 pounds in the next year.

But no matter what he weighs, Aimone just plans on playing.

"I always try to play my best, and hopefully that will be good enough,"Aimone said.