Connect with us


Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Dan Pettinato, DL, University of Arizona

danEvery year, NFL Draft Diamonds brings our readers the best in depth interviews on the internet. We specialize in giving players an opportunity to showcase their talents on our website. We conducted interviews last year with over 300 plus players. We want you to enjoy our interviews, because when these young men are in the league, we will not be surprised, and neither should you.

What is your name?

Dan Pettinato

What school did you attend?

University of Arizona

What is your position?

Defensive Lineman

What is your height and weight?

I am 6’4”  and 286 lbs.

How many teams were recruiting you out of high school?

6 schools: Arizona, Sacramento State, Cal Poly, Nevada, Fresno State, Utah State.

How did you choose your college?

I chose Arizona because I wanted to play PAC-12 football. Arizona was my only PAC-12 offer. Also I had many family members attend the University of Arizona and my grandmother lives in Tucson and all three of my uncles live in Phoenix.

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Grass Valley, California.

Who is your role model, and why?

My father is my role model. He is an extremely hard worker and is very humble. I am one of 11 siblings: 8 girls and 2 boys. I have the most respect for him because he is able to provide for that many people.

Have any scouts met with you yet? If so what are they saying?

Yes I have talked to several scouts, so far, at the NFLPA All-Star Game and my Pro Day. They say they like my body frame and that I move really well.

Did you play any other high school sports?

I played basketball along with football all four years in high school.

Did you play any other positions in football?

I played Tight End and Defensive End in high school.

dan 1At your position what separates you from others?

My effort, consistency, and low pad level.

When you are breaking down film, what do you look for?

As a defensive lineman I look at the offensive lineman’s stance (is he leaning one way), his footwork and hand placement, and whether he likes to quick set.  Also, does he have any pre-snap tendancies that I can key to get a better jump on the snap.

Who was the toughest player you ever faced?

Matt Kalil from USC my freshman year.

If you could compare your play to one player in the NFL, who would it be and why?

I’ve always tried to mimic JJ Watt, Justin Smith, and Jared Allen.

What was the biggest obstacle in your life that you had to overcome?

I tore my ACL. Rehabbing for that was the most difficult thing I’ve had to overcome.

Do you have any pre-game rituals?

Other than stretching while listening to my own music, I like to sit in the front of the bus on the way to the stadium.

What is your biggest Strength?

Hand quickness, low pad level, out-work my opponent, and consistency.

What is your biggest weakness?

My biggest weakness is that I’ve played multiple positions on our defensive front and haven’t had the experience to be the best at one.

If I was a GM and gave you a second to sell yourself, what would you say?

I would love to play for you.  You will get everything I got, just give me one chance to prove myself.

Who was your favorite player and NFL team growing up?

Jared Allen. The 49ers.

If you could have dinner with three people dead or alive, who would you choose?

My grandfather Bill Bonanno, Arizona position coach Bill Kerlewhich, and the Pope

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

1 Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

RSS NFL Draft Diamonds

Follow Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter

More in AFC