2020 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Peter Lejawa, NG, Kean University
- Name: Peter Lejawa
- Height: 6’4
- Weight: 315
- Position: Nose Guard
- College: Kean University
- Twitter: @Lejawa93
Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?
• My hometown Wallington NJ is a very small town. Wallington is also known as “Little Poland” due to its large Polish population. Only being a square mile long it is easy to know there are no long walks anywhere. It is as well-known as a blue-collar town in this town you get what you put in and a bunch of hardworking individuals. Wallington Highschool is a small high school, but we have had athletes go on and play at the collegiate level. It is exciting because of how small of a school we are. What I love most of this town is the size of the town. Everyone knows each other in this town. The support was always there for you as an individual and as a team in athletics. As well involving all the great Polish food stores in this town having great home cooked meals. Being Polish that is a dream right there being surrounded by your cultural background. Wallington is that exact town.
List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?
• First is most definite Strength & Conditioning. That’s where you are preparing yourself mentally physically as well toning your body to get ready for the upcoming fall season.That’s where it all starts the grind when the spotlight is not on you, but you are grinding in the shadows. That’s what will separate you from your competition. Either you are outworking your competition that day or you are being beaten by them. Every day you wake up going to the weight room and on that field are you out working your opponent. Only you The Man in the Glass know if you gave it all that day to better yourself. Thereafter is Practice. Every day at practice matters and the effort you put in. You cannot just turn the switch on during game time. You have to practice like you are playing in a game during a Tuesdayor Wednesday practice. During practice from working on technique with your positional coach, to going against the offense good on good. The way you treat and perform in practice is what you will get out of it during gameday. As stated by my Defensive line Coach Gary Andrewshetsko, you have to practice hard during the week so when it comes to gameday the game becomes easy for you. “Talent is God Given, Greatness is a choice.” Final is Film, without watching film you don’t know what type of an linemen you are playing against. Is he always in a pass heavy set, or is he a bruiser, does he like to lean when run blocking, during a pass does he shoot their hands high or low while pass setting. In film you will dissect everything about your opponent. Watching and then knowing what the opponent does can be a huge advantage for you. As well looking at the stances during run and pass down or the way the running backs stance is or where he is located during each different offensive formation. Getting a clear image during film can provide you the upper hand.
What do you worry about, and why?
• The one thing that I worry about is being successful and achieving in finding a job after graduation. With things at home being challenging it is my job being able to support my family even more then I can now. With providing them is the most success I can achieve. This is a worry for me because I do not want anything to ever bad happen to them. Being there as a second strong provider can show a clear path to my brothers and sister that hard work can change the type of setting you are in. All the hard work that I have been through and being successful in the long run can teach them that important value.
Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?
• The one time I failed at something was receiving two failing grades at the end of my sophomore year. Due to an injury I was not able to get to class because I commute to school. Having those two failing grades really upset me because they were both hard classes to begin with, but I was doing good in them until the injury. Having failed those two classes really put me in a tight predicament involving my credits for the year. I was very upset knowingly I failed those classes. You spend a lot of money for college so failing was not acceptable. How I overcame with this failure is taking back to back 18 credit semesters just to catch up with credits and change those Fs to As quickly as possible. Achieving this was a great achievement for me.
What do your teammates say is your best quality?
• What my teammates say about my best quality is being a trustworthy individual. Having enough trust in me to finish the full workouts in the weight room. Running through the line during sprints, being behind the line during sprints. The little things matter. Sit in front of the classroom and to succeed in academics. Being a good example across campus and not give Kean football a bad name. Including trusting me on that field to my brothers to the left and to the right of me to compete to my fullest potential on every down and having their backs.
Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
• Joe Callahan
What would your career be if you couldn’t play football?
• If I didn’t play football my career would be heading into law enforcement. Either working for corrections or being a police officer.
Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?
• Your room first. That is where you spend most of your free time dedicated to finishing your homework. As well that is where your serenity is. Your room is your safe haven. That is where you are allowed to have your own time. Being able to focus clearly on the tasks that you have at hand. After a long day that is where you lay your head on your pillow and you evaluate everything you’ve done and then on rest and sleep till the next day.
If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?
• I would choose the one family member. Family is very important to me. Family is a huge part of my life. My family have been my closest supporters throughout everything I have done in life. Family is blood and always will be.
If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?
• Any movie character that I would be is Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) in the movie Click. I would be that character because the movie itself is great as well teaches an important lesson upon life. Michael skips through moments in his life that he hates for example sickness, arguments, bad days at work, and having to deal with difficult tasks. In the ending he learns out to be no matter how hard things are right now in your life skipping through them like he did can be terrible. But dealing with those instances and fighting through the adversity it teaches you to become a stronger individual mentally, physically, and emotionally to overcome anything that is thrown at your way.
Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?
• The biggest adversity in life I had experienced was sophomore year in college. Being told by my dad that my mom has left. My father, my sister, my two brothers, and myself being very devasted. It took a huge toll on me emotionally. I myself had to take up on a bigger role in my home. Helping out with monthly bills, working more hours, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, helping with homework for my siblings, and providing that extra hand for my dad so he can continue to work his long hour days to keep a roof over his kids and food on the table. It was not easy doing all that while maintaining a high GPA in my classes working the most hours I can and following with the hours given towards football. Continuing to accomplish and fighting through that adversity. Being able every day to compete and do everything the right way. I truly believe that God does give his toughest soldiers the toughest battles for a reason. With my dad being the man, he is having to stay with four kids and to provide for us the way he continues to provide for us is unmatched. Don’t know any other individual that can do what he has done for us and continues to do.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
• My most embarrassing moment would have to be involving my first years of playing football in high school. Being in the first day of full pads and Oklahoma’s I got knocked pretty badly. It hurt yea, going against an upperclassman and me being in my first ever year of football. So that day I quit in front of everyone in the locker room. I felt embarrassed days after. I really looked like a soft chump quitting like that. There were multiple instances that I quit my freshman year.
What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
• The most memorable play of my collegiate career was during my freshman year. Playing against Rowan, a run heavy team. On an important 3rd down stop bashing through the offensive line and sticking the running back with a hard hit in the backfield. Committing them to kicking a field goal. Later on, winning that game in Overtime.
What song best describes your work ethic?
• Till I Collapse – Eminem
What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level?
• An important trait of mine that can help me succeed at the next level is the passion I have for the grind and the sport of football. You have to respect the grind. The grind is not easy you have to enjoy the process, blood, sweat, and tears. My passion for the sport of football is great, because having a year without football was very weird for me. Really appreciating all those hard days in camp under the sun or competing in those really close games trying get that W on that scoreboard. As being physical in the middle of that defensive line. Not being moved in the run game. Holding the A gap, not being moved during double or triple teams. Allowing my linebackers to run free and for them to make the play.
If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?
• The one person I would bring back from the dead would be my grandfather. I would want to see him again for one day just to thank him for everything he has done for me and my siblings ever since we were born. Always being there for us and always helped when things were hard or easy. I would want to tell him countless times about how much I appreciate everything he has done for me.
If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it?
• Dance Club name would be “Big Pete’s Fhenomenal Fiasco”
Who is the most underrated player in the NFL?
• Damon Harrison Sr.
Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?
• Respected 100%. Everyone can be liked. Not everyone can gain Respect.
What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?
• The player that has had his career derailed by off – field issues I feel for most is Ray Rice. There should under no circumstances be ok for any male to put their hands on a woman at any time. But I do feel as if that incident would not have happened he would have laid out a greater legacy in the NFL for himself and the Ravens franchise. Have being a good running back for the Baltimore Ravens, he could have escalated their chances to continue in being a playoff powerhouse team. I also believe he helped running backs that are short in height can be accepted into the NFL. Showing their speed, quickness, pass catching ability, and even their downhill running ability. Ray Rice proved in football size surely does not matter at all.
Do you love to win, or hate to lose?
• Hate to lose. Winning is a phenomenal feeling that’s why we play sports like football is to Win. But you have to hate losing more than winning. You don’t do all that training for this sport to lose. You grind to Win! Losing is terrible.
Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?
• One of my biggest influences in my life has always been my Dad. Coming from nothing, moving to the United States having to learn English and finding himself a job so he can help support my grandparents. Being a perfect example of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. From my father learning countless life lessons and experiencing the pain sweat and tears that he goes through pushes me to excel even further in everything I do. Because seeing him put it all out on the line for my family like he does it truly phenomenal. Alongside my Head football Coach Dan Garret, is my other big influence. The life lessons he has taught me I say this with sure honesty and open heart there is no other Head Coach that is even close to the man he is. Being there for me every step of the way in all fashions, he has helped mold me into the man I am today. I cannot thank him enough for taking a chance on me!