Shouldering The Load: Baylor’s Ika Will Play a Massive role for the Bears Defense


WACO — Baylor’s defense will look to take a big step forward in 2021 with some help from a mountain of a man in Siaki “Apu” Ika.

Standing at 6′ 4″ 350 pounds Ika provides a big challenge to opposing offensive lines and fellow defensive lineman TJ Franklin knows just how valuable he can be.

“I expect him to have the biggest impact on defense,” Franklin said. “Before, we had a nose, but we didn’t have a nose able to do everything that we need him to do.”

With Apu eating up blocks on the defensive line it allows the guys behind him like linebacker Terrel Bernard to move more freely and go make plays on the football.

“He’s so athletic,” Bernard said. “He does what he needs to do. He knows the defense, he’s been in the system before, so he knows the defense. So him taking up blocks, making plays is going to allow us at the second level to do what we need to do as well.”

With a view from the back end of the defense senior Jalen Pitre said if somehow they miss Apu with his size they will definitely feel him once the ball is snapped.

“He’s dangerous,” Pitre said. “That’s the one word I can use to describe him. Like I feel like when people get to see him on Saturday, they’re going to notice how reckless he is and how much of a game wrecker he is.”

Ika knows the defense is counting on him to be productive, but like most things, he just takes it in stride and is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win.

“I feel great,” he said. “I’ve got no choice. It’s getting close to crunch time, It’s time to anchor down be all in and be committed to working with the team — getting better as a player so I can do my best for the team.”

Ika is putting his hobby as a Soundcloud rapper on hold for the time being to go all in on the 2021 season.

To sample his music, click here.

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