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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Pika Leota, OT, Benedictine College

Former South Carolina Gamecock Pika Leota is a big boy with a great skill set. Leota is a big boy with a mean hand punch.

What is the best restaurant in your hometown city?

  • The best restaurant in my hometown of Asheville North Carolina is Little Pigs BBQ, this restaurant will always have a home in my heart because it was right next to my high school and the staff members would always show love to the football players.

When breaking down your film what will stick out?

  • When breaking down my film you can see that I like to be very aggressive with my hands and handle the pass rush well. Another thing I can point out is that I can be used on screen plays, so I’m very durable.

If you won the lotto, what is the first thing you would do with the money?

  • If I won the lotto the first thing I would do is go back to my home country of Western Samoa and help my family live a better life. 

What has been your biggest failure? 

  • My biggest failure is letting my Benedictine College football team down during the 2019 Fall season campaign. During our 2018 national championship season run I let my grades slip making myself ineligible for the 2019 season. This past season I took the opportunity to play in a COVID season when most players wouldn’t and I was honored to represent not only Benedictine College but also my head coach Larry Wilcox, winningest coach at Benedictine College. 

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

  • My teammates say my best quality is that they never have to question if they can count on me during crunch time, they know that they can trust in me as a teammate to get my job done! 

Who is the hardest working teammate on your team?

  • I would say the hardest working teammate would have to be Jalen James (LB) or Tristian Cruz (CB).My first year transferring to Benedictine College I’ve seen these two guys consistently outworking opponents and even themselves, they’re grind and motivation rubbed off on me to build my body to where I feel like I’m at the best shape of my life. 

Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?

  • Growing up, my first football coach (Scott Buchanan) gave me the nickname sneaky Pete, and then my freshman year at University of South Carolina coach Shawn Elliot the current head coach of Georgia state gave me the nickname of “El Toro”, the bull! 

What is your degree in, if you do not make it as a football player, what is your dream job? 

  • My degree is Exercise Science with the intention of coaching. My dream job if I were to not make it is I would like to coach football in the collegiate level, I know I made a lot of mistakes and had a lot of questions unanswered rather than answered coming to college so that’s why I feel like I could help college football players out; I could relate to them on a player/personal level. 

What is your coolest life moment? 

  • My coolest life moment is when I came to America with my brother Eku Leota (3rd All BIG 10 Media) to become citizens of the United States. Having the opportunity to learn at any university/college or high school has opened more pathways for me to succeed like any other.

What song would you sing at Karaoke night? 

  • One song that I would sing at karaoke night would be “Blue Notes” by Meek Mill

If you could pick any actor to play you in a movie, who are you picking? 

  • If I’m picking an actor to play myself In a movie I would pick Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Johnson would be a perfect fit since we are the same blood line him being Polynesian and he already has the size frame that’ll compare to mine. 

Who is your favorite football team? 

  • My favorite football team is the New York Jets, growing up I studied up on all the old teams and one team really stood out to me and that was Joe Namath’s team when they won the Super Bowl; I also believe Namath was the one who started on and off the field swag.

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

  • WARNING: KEEP CLEAR TO REMAIN SAFE! 

What is your biggest fear? 

  • My biggest fear is being complacent with life, once that happens then you start doubting yourself and then that starts to affect your daily life. 

Who is the most underrated player in the NFL 

  • Jets safety Marcus Maye, he was just named the Jets Team MVP. 

Take us through game day, How do you prepare? 

  • A typical home game day routine I go through would be 6:45 A.M. wake up call in the morning. 7:00 A.M. in the shower. 8:00 A.M. Eat a granola bar and drink protein while watching morning news. 8:45 Offensive Line position meeting/breakfast. 9:45 I’m in the locker room getting game ready/taped. 10:00 A.M. Team meeting 11:00 A.M. Locker-room pre-turn up. 12:00 GAMETIME!

Do you have any hobbies? 

  • To be honest, my main hobby right now is lifting/ conditioning. Coming from an athletic family I’ve got my brothers Eku Leota, and then my younger brother Tamatoa McDonough who committed to Yale football out of Asheville High School; every time I’m home on breaks we push each other to newer heights to work harder in the weight room and especially on the field. 

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

  • My biggest influence in my life is my family, I feel influenced by them because they’ve been my support system throughout my life.

What motivates you to work hard?

  • Something that motivates me to work hard is myself. I motivate myself to work hard so i don’t fail. Failing is not an option, it’s all gas no brakes! 

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 nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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