UW Football: Veteran D-line still has room to grow


UWBadgers.com Senior Writer


One of Sagapolu's uncles, Domata Peko, was a defensive lineman and wore No. 94 during his 11 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. During the offseason, Peko signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos. Another uncle, Tupe Peko (Domata's older brother), now retired, was an offensive lineman and wore No. 56 during his three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. The Pekos played at Michigan State. Their cousin, Kyle Peko, is a second-year nose tackle with the Broncos. He wears No. 90.

As a freshman and sophomore, Sagapolu wore No. 65. But he has traded that for No. 99. "Going into my junior year, I felt it was time for a change," said Sagapolu. "I asked if I could switch and they gave me the option, 90 or 99. So I chose 99. I was asked if I knew who wore 99 and I said that I did. I know those are big shoes to fill. But I'm going to do the best that I can to wear the number proudly."

J.J. Watt was No. 99.

"I didn't know he (Sagapolu) was 99 until he came out for spring practice," said UW defensive line coach Inoke Breckterfield. "It looks good on him — 65 was an offensive lineman's number."


Although Obasih will not have any contact during spring practice, Breckterfield said, "He'll miss the reps now, but he'll get a bunch back in the fall. He's a guy that has played a lot of football for us. He will be a four-year starter and it will be like riding a bike. I'm not worried about him. He's in all of our meetings this spring and I have him working with the noses during individual periods, so he's kind of into it. He's taking mental reps. It will take only two or three days to knock the rust off."

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