October 4, 2012

The latest on Peko: More visits to come

Two weeks after visiting Michigan State, junior college defensive tackle Kyle Peko says his visit to East Lansing helped the Spartans' chances of landing him, but he's not in a hurry to make a decision.

Peko said on Thursday that he will visit Utah and Boise State in addition to Nebraska. Earlier this month, there were indications that Boise State would not get a visit from the 6-foot-2, 300-pound defensive lineman, but Peko is now leaving the Broncos room to get in.

"Michigan State was my first official visit but I'm planning to take more, probably after my season in December," Peko said. "I'm planning to visit Nebraska, Utah and Boise State."

He said the visit to Michigan State impressed him.

"It was awesome," he said. "I had a great time. I liked everything. All the coaches, I got to meet them and see what they were like, and the players were all great."

It was just what he expected.

"I had an idea of what to expect because I know Fou Fonoti and I stay in contact with him a little bit and he keeps me updated with what's going on in the program," Peko said.

Fonoti attended the same junior college as Peko, who is a standout at Cerritos (Calif.) Community College. Fonoti is out for the season with a lower body injury.

"Fou is staying positive about the whole thing and has been good to talk to," Peko said. "While I was there, I did the academic tours, toured the campus, toured the football facilities, everything.

"The coach I talked to the most was probably Coach Gill," Peko said in reference to defensive line coach Ted Gill. "He talked about the the d-line schemes and where he would see me fitting in, and if I came there I would have a chance to compete for some kind of playing time."

Does Gill see him as a defensive tackle?

"He seems me all around the line," Peko said. "They like my speed off the line."

That speed has led Cerritos to move Peko out to defensive end in recent weeks as part of a 4-3 scheme.

"I just got moved out there, so I'm trying to work on my technique on the outside," he said. "They put me out there just cause they like the speed on the outside."

Peko had two sacks and eight tackles recently against Los Angeles Harbor.

Peko is the cousin of former Spartans Tupe Peko and Domata Peko. Tupe played for Michigan State in 1999 and 2000, under Nick Saban and Bobby Williams when Mark Dantonio was defensive backs coach for the Spartans. Tupe has reconnected with MSU in recent years, and spent some time with his cousin, Fonoti, last December when the Spartans were in Peko's current hometown of Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game.

Domata Peko played at Michigan State under John L. Smith.

Both Pekos are still supportive of the Spartans, and of their younger cousin, Kyle.

"I talk to them a little and once I got offered, they were hitting me up pretty hard about Michigan State," Peko said.

Tupe recommended MSU to Domata, saying the competition in the Big Ten helped Tupe prepare himself for an NFL career. But Pekos played in the NFL. Domata is currently a standout with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kyle Peko is not related to Fonoti, but they have been friends for a while.

"I knew Fou previously, and his little brother, Filo, is on my team right now," Peko said.

Filo is being recruited as a d-tackle by Hawaii and Utah State.

Peko said the distance to East Lansing "is not a factor at all."

Peko attended high school at La Habra High, located in Orange County.

When asked if the visit helped MSU's chances, he said, "Yeah. It was a great time, a great experience."

Peko said he will graduate early from Cerritos and be available for spring practice at the school of his choice.

As for the schools he is still considering, he had the following to say about each:

Nebraska: "I'm looking for playing time and they are talking about how I could come in and play right away."

Boise State: "I know a few players that went to my high school that play there and they say good things about the program so I'm going to look into that and the coaches seem cool, and the same thing about playing early."

Utah: "The same thing about playing early."

Michigan State is tight on scholarship slots, but the Spartans made it clear that Peko has a committable offer. But MSU is not pressuring him.

"I definitely have one," Peko said. "They just want it to be my choice."

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