Hot Prospect Q&A: DT Domata Peko

Michigan State defensive tackle Domata Peko talks about some of the teams that have been showing interest in him, the style of defense he plays, his relationship with his brother, Tupe, and more!

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.

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