Question: After two years of junior college in California, how did you end up choosing Michigan State?
Domata Peko: Through the whole recruiting process I always had Michigan State in the back of my mind because my brother, Tupe, played for Michigan State and went off to play in the NFL for a couple years. That really helped me out in making my decision and when I went on my visit to Michigan State, I felt really comfortable there. A lot of people knew my brother, and I had good vibes from the coaches.
Q: Your older brother, Tupe, who played for the Colts and the Panthers ended up on the opposite side of the line. How did that happen?
DP: He's always been the offensive player. Actually, in high school I was a tight end and fullback and then when I went to junior college they converted me to defensive end.
Q: How special would it be for you if the Colts did indeed draft you and you got to wear the same uniform your brother did?
DP: That would be great, I would love to play for Indianapolis because right now that's where I'm living with my brother…in Carmel, Indiana. I could just buy a house right next to him and play for Indianapolis. I would love to play for coach Dungy and their defense is doing great right now.
Q: What do you love most about football?
DP: I love the contact. I love to hit people. My favorite thing about football is to get a sack or a tackle and to hit somebody.
Q: What are your strengths at the defensive tackle position?
DP: Being explosive off the ball and getting into people. I can stand my ground, shed blocks and make plays.
Q: What style defense did you play in at Michigan State?
DP: We ran a 4-3 with four down linemen. It was a gap control defense.
Q: Similar to what the Colts run with their cover 2?
DP: Yes, very similar to that.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your Hula Bowl experience and how that benefited you…
DP: I think that it benefited me tremendously. I did really well in practice, and felt like I was dominating the one-on-one drills against the offensive line. I did well in the game too; I had 6 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Q: Were you pleased with your results at the Combine?
DP: Yes. I felt I could have ran a little better in the 40, but everything else I did really well in and I was pleased with that. I talked to some scouts and coaches and they said I did real well and my numbers were nice, so I'm pleased with it.
Q: Who did you meet with during the formal interview process?
DP: The Dolphins and the Bengals were the only teams I had formal interviews with. Then I met with other positional coaches in the ballroom.
Q: Out of those positional coaches, did any of them stand out to you at all?
DP: I really liked the San Diego Chargers d-line coach, and he really liked me too. The interviews are usually over at 11, and one night we were just sitting there till about 11:30, like the last two people just talking…talking forever. I also liked the Chiefs, Falcons, Browns and Bengals. Any of the coaches I'll be glad to play for.
Q: Did you have any contact with the Colts?
DP: I really didn't talk to the Colts that much. But my agent was telling me a team that never even talked to you at the Combine could draft you.
Q: Did you also do any drills or running at your Pro Day?
DP: No I didn't do any running, but I did do position drills with the d-line coaches that were there. They ran me through some drills and that went really good also, I really helped myself out at the Pro Day.