Peter Lejawa: 2020 Pro Prospect Interview

Name: Peter Lejawa
School: Kean
Position: DL
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 310

Q: What goals did you set and/or accomplish in your final collegiate season?

Goals that I set for myself during my final collegiate season was to be the anchor, dominate force on the defensive line, and a leader on and off the field. To become that senior leader in the locker room that any teammate can count on you with an issue and I can help them resolve it or guide to them to someone to who can help them resolve their issue. As well to show guys the way at Kean show them the roots and what to do and how to strive for success. Losing a couple pounds heading into my senior season to allow me to carry less weight when pursuing after the ball or down the line. Achieving this allowed me to double my stats from previous seasons. Achieving all three in my final collegiate season, being a dominate Nose. Demanding double and triple teams in the run game or pass game throughout the whole game. With myself being the anchor of the defense allowed opportunities for DEs and 3tech to have one on one in the run game and pass rush game. As well allowing my LBs to make plays in open field without being touched at the second level by an offensive lineman. Including identifying and sniffing out screens as a one tech and pursuing down the line. Accomplishing being an anchor and a dominant force. Forced teams I played against they ran the ball away from my A gap as well even abandoning the inside run plays. Later focusing just running the ball to the outside because the inside was not happening. Wanted to be a factor on film and make coaches say how are we going to block that guy?

Q: What would your coaches and teammates say about the type of player you are?

What my coaches would say about the type of player I am is a fighter, warrior, and a player that brings attitude to the field. Always looking for Growth in a physical and mental aspect. A player that retests the bar on and off the field to take it to another level. A player that always wants to be critiqued on his technique because that is the only way you will get better. Learning from your mistakes. Player that knows at the next level everyone is fast, strong, and explosive. But understanding the mental and technical aspect of the game of football. As well a player they can rely on to demonstrate leadership through demonstrated physical ability. Through my actions.
What my teammates can say what type of a player I am is loyal, a brother on that field. True to my skill set, coachable and selfless. A good teammate for the organization that truly cares for individuals outside of football. Always had a positive outlook and influence on others on and off the football field. Very hard-working player and different animal when I am on the field. Gets into the zone and cannot be stopped. Mindset as no one belongs on the same field as you.

Q: When you are studying film, what do you focus on to improve your game?

When I am studying film on my opponent is how high or low their pads are when coming off the ball. Looking to see if they are shooting their hands quickly inside or outside during their pass set. During run and pass plays are the lineman leaning heavy. To see if the offensive linemen’s feet are poor or great in the pass and run game. Including what the offensive line slide tendencies are and if they would be sliding more to the one tech or three tech. As well if there are any tendencies involving the running back on which side he is on. Explaining if during their inside zone play the RB is on the QBs right side majority of the time on film its tendency to be a run. Or if the RB is on the QBs left side that may have a tendency that it may be a quick pass or play action. As well seeing how far back the RB is behind the QB during certain run, play action, or screen play. During the game it becomes second nature to me and having that extra edge knowing it’s going to be a double team, a run away from me, a draw play, or a screen pass so I can get my hands up and disrupt the passing window or retrace and pursue to where the screen will be. Identifying it will be run play can allow me to slip the double team quicker. Even studying film on myself, looking to see if my eyes were in the right place. To see if I was aligned correctly. Why be misaligned before the snap, this puts you in a position to lose that play already even before the ball is even snapped. Where was my hand placement when I got off the ball or to see if my pad level was low enough on a slant to the gap or was my footwork quick enough slanting into a gap. Even focusing on whether I should have slipped off the block a little quicker. Are got off the pass rush with a move that could have used and if second quicker. All those factors and studying can improve my play because later on I can reinforce it on the practice field.

Q: What separates you from the other pro prospects at your position?

What would separate myself from other pro prospects at my position is my ability to adapt, having the high demand of being double teamed in the pass or run game, my mindset to never give in and continue to fight, natural strength and being nasty in the trenches. It gets dirty in the trenches and how are you going to react when you get punched in the mouth? The little things, my attention to detail. My focus what separates me as a person and a football player from the rest. Including on causing havoc reestablishing a new line of scrimmage. Realizing quickly if it is a pass or run play. Allowing my ability to sink in, hold and slip off double teams and make plays or not allow lineman to get up to the second level to my Linebackers. As well my knowledge for the game of football. Knowing where my teammates and what their assignments are going to be doing on the field and knowing and doing my job. Doing my one 11th on that field every play. As well being able to dissect film hours on end. That’s where all the preparation starts is in film dissecting your opponent. On the field my ability to just gear in listen and be coached.

Q: What is your offseason plan to train and prepare for professional opportunities?

Offseason plan is to train at TEST Football Academy for the upcoming pro days and as well continue working out there with world class professional trainers. To get my body right in best shape I can for the next level where ever that will be. Working on technique as a Defensive Linemen finding new tricks to put in my arsenal. As well keeping up with my nutrition daily is highly important.

Q: What kind of strengths and abilities will you bring to a team that will stand out both on and off the field?

Type of strengths and abilities that I would bring to a professional team that would standout is the mindset, being able to fight through adversity mentally physically, and adaptability to new schemes, techniques, and fundamentals. Also, not letting outside issues or noise get in the way of tasks dealing with football. Including my focus on being detail oriented on the little things. Strengths would be in the run game, versatile defensive lineman in a 4-3, 3-4, or 4-4 scheme. Grasping the knowledge quickly and being able to go out and perform the next day. Adapting to it. On field would be the tenacity I would bring, you are competing for a job every day, every play and every rep the eye in the sky does not lie. Being observant in the environment, I am in knowing who is around watching and listening. As well the desire to never settle for anything but achieving the long road to greatness. To not allowing myself to quit on for my brothers my teammates on that field because they are counting on me every single day. Including on field how I carry myself as an individual on and off the field.
Outside of football What I would bring to a team that would stand out is the ability to connect with individuals from all walks of life. Coming from poor, rich, middle class, single parent, different ethnic backgrounds, or different views. It does not matter being able to connect and create that bond of brotherhood amongst teammates is a need and my ability to do that is very strong. As well being a positive billboard for your organization. Listening and dialing in to coaches’ ideology, being on time for team functions, and the focus on the little things.

Q: What is your final pitch to the NFL/CFL or any other pro leagues?

My final pitch to an NFL team or any Professional team would be that you will be investing into not just a player but an individual that knows what the mentality and mindset is to fight through all different types of adversity that life throws at you because you are only as strong as the adversity that you overcome. Knowing when to be in a situation or not be involved in a situation that can harm the organizations image, the fanbases image, and my own image as a professional athlete. Not only displaying your work ethic and hard work when coaches, teammates, or the media are around. But doing the needed work and film study, in the shadows when no one is around. Only you and the man in the glass now the amount of work you put forth towards your craft. Including an individual that does not change personalities with whoever he is with. The same individual and player you will get on and off the field. No matter with the CEO, owner, or the janitor of the building. As well being a selfless player and doing my job on being double and triple teamed throughout the game and reestablishing the line of scrimmage. If you perform then your defense and teammates around, you will perform. Only a couple of men in this world that can put their hand on the ground and repeatedly take on double and triple teams, holding their gap, allowing zero movement and allowing your teammates to come up make plays. Doing my one 11th on the field to help an organization win footballs games.