NFL Draft Q&A: Oklahoma State tackle Victor Salako
Our daily NFL Draft Q&A series continues with Oklahoma State tackle Victor Salako, who started his career at UAB and transferred two years ago when the Blazers announced they were ending their football program. His last name is pronounced suh-LAY-ko, and he took time to talk with us about his draft prep and what's ahead ...
Q: Where are you training right now as you get ready for the draft?
A: "I'm back at school at Oklahoma State. Right now, I'm just getting ready for my pro day on March 9."
Q: You were down here in St. Petersburg for the Shrine Game -- how did you feel the week went for you?
A: "That was a great experience. I'm greatly appreciative that they invited me to play. I think I did well down there. My best memory down there was the second day when we went to go play with the kids, went to the Shriners Hospital for maybe two and a half hours, signing autographs, playing with the kids and making them smile. That was an awesome experience, making those kids smile. They really look up to us, and that's a great feeling."
Q: Were there guys in that game that you had played with or played against?
A: "I had two teammates, Blake Jarwin, a tight end, and Ashton Lampkin, he plays cornerback. We all went down there from Oklahoma State."
Q: What was it like having NFL coaches working with you and trying to learn as much as you can in a week like that?
A: "I loved that. That was great. You play college for four or five years, and now I'm getting coached by some of the best coaches in the NFL. I had a great offensive line coach that taught me a lot. I think we all bonded really well, enjoyed each other's company. Every day we came to practice to compete and we had fun with it."
Q: You played left tackle at Oklahoma State. Do you have a sense for where NFL teams see you as playing?
A: "At Shrine Game, they tried me at both left and right tackle. I can play both. To me it doesn't really matter. I just want an opportunity to play at the next level."
Q: You were listed at 6-foot-6, 335 pounds. Where are you at now?
A: "Right now, I'm 6-5 and a half. They gave me an extra half-inch. I'm weighing about 320. I would like to be around 315."
Q: Take me back two years to everything that happened at UAB, but also how well things worked out for you, landing at Oklahoma State.
A: "The transition for me coming from UAB to Oklahoma State was pretty smooth. I had great teammates and great coaches that welcomed me with open arms. The fans here, they love football, love the players and treat you well. My experience at Oklahoma State was awesome. What happened at UAB was really heartbreaking -- we started something at UAB we wanted to finish and didn't get the opportunity -- but God works in mysterious ways and I was blessed to spend the last two years here at Oklahoma State."
Q: Who's the best player you went up against in college?
A: "My junior year, Charles Tapper, he played d-end at OU (Oklahoma, now with the Cowboys) and he was pretty good, probably the best I went against."
Q: And the best player you played with, either at UAB or Oklahoma State?
A: "I'll say Jordan Howard, my running back when I was at UAB. He now plays for the Chicago Bears. He was one heck of a running back. That was great fun blocking for Jordan Howard."
Q: When you watch offensive linemen in the NFL, is there one you like to watch or pattern yourself after?
A: "I try to watch Tyron Smith from the Cowboys. In my opinion, he's the best left tackle in the game. I try to mimic what he does to the best of my ability, but he's a freak of nature."
Q: Which NFL teams have you had the most contact with so far?
A: "The Chargers, the Rams, and the Patriots, we talked for a long time. I met with most teams at Shrine Game, but they talked to me the most."
Q: This is a big question for anyone who's lived in Birmingham, but what's the best barbecue for you?
A: "There's a lot of places. If you go to Huntsville, try Ted's Bar-B-Q. They've got good barbecue down there. Jim'n'Nicks and Dreamland are good, but I like Ted's. I usually get the barbecue chicken."
Q: And your favorite place to eat in Stillwater?
A: "Granny's, hands down. Their breakfast is awesome. When I go there, I get the country fried steak, pancakes, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs."
Q: How close are you to getting your degree at OSU?
A: "I'll graduate this May in sociology."
Check out our other NFL Draft Q&As: N.C. State center Joe Scelfo, Army linebacker Andrew King, Louisana Tech receiver Trent Taylor, Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara, USC defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu and Saint Francis safety Lorenzo Jerome.