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December 18, 2012

Beavers land JUCO defensive tackle

Kyle Peko's verbal commitment was the result of a sharp last-minute turn.

As the three-star defensive tackle packed a bag for his trip to Oregon State last weekend, he was leaning toward following his family linage to Michigan State. By the time he wrapped up his visit to Corvallis, though, things had changed drastically.

What he saw in on campus somehow trumped his family history. His two cousins who played football for the Spartans years ago suddenly mattered not. A day after returning home, the Cerritos Community College star picked up the phone and pledged his services to the Beavers.

And that, as they say , was that.

"I felt at home and I felt comfortable with all the coaches at Oregon State," Peko said on Tuesday. "I really like Michigan State, but it was my choice. I didn't want to do anything that made me uncomfortable.

Oregon State defensive line coach Joe Seumalo accepted Peko's commitment by phone on Monday night. And if there was any excitement missing in his voice when he got the news, it's because the shock factor had long since faded.

"I actually told the coaches I was going to commit when I was on my visit, but I had to come home and talk to my parents about it before I did it," Peko said. "When I called, they were kind of expecting it. Coach Seumalo was happy and exited and everything, but he already knew."

The whole comfort-level thing is a reoccurring theme here. Peko points it out at every turn. There were other, more-tangible factors in play, of course, but this was a choice made on instinct - a gut feeling.

"The big thing is that it's the Pac 12 and it's close to home," Peko said. "I just liked all the players and felt pretty comfortable. "

Peko won't sign his letter of intent with Oregon State until February, but does not intend to take other recruiting visits in the meantime.



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