Tommy Togiai had quite the career for himself at Ohio State, compiling 49 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and a forced fumble in a three-year span. He’s hoping that production will carry over to the next level.
Following a very successful 2020 season, Togiai announced that he was declaring for the NFL Draft. It was a wise move on his part since his stock was at an all-time high.
Togiai wasn’t considered the flashiest player on Ohio State’s defense, but he was a complete player capable of stopping the run and getting after the opposing quarterback.
Unfortunately, Togiai was unable to compete in the national title game this past season due to a positive COVID-19 test. It was a tough pill to swallow, but he didn’t allow that to affect his mindset. He picked himself up and prepared himself for his pro day.
During his pro day at Ohio State, Togiai put up 40 reps on the bench press and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.97 seconds. Those are incredible numbers for a defensive lineman who measured in at 296 pounds.
We sat down with Togiai to discuss his pro day, Ohio State career, future in the NFL and much more.
The Spun: What has this whole experience been like for you?
Tommy Togiai: I went down to Phoenix, Arizona to go train at EXOS. I got a group out there and I loved the coaches out there. I did a lot of my NFL interviews down there – they went well. I’ve really liked the process and I haven’t had too many issues so far.
The Spun: How would you grade your pro day?
TT: I think I had a good day. I think I did all the drills well, and that’s not even including the bench press.
The Spun: You used the bench press drill as an opportunity to raise money for a good cause. Can you tell me about that, and also, are you the strongest prospect in this draft?
TT: I mean you could say that. I knew I was going to get a lot of reps, so I wanted to give back to the Columbus community that welcomed me when I first got on campus. I enjoyed my time there and wanted to give back to the kids. But, yes, I think I should definitely be considered one of the strongest players in this year’s draft.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) April 8, 2021
The Spun: What’s your favorite moment at Ohio State?
TT: I would say any of the Big Ten championships. Also, the Clemson game from this past season. That was such a fun game.
The Spun: How tough it was to miss the national title game?
TT: It was crazy to me. I couldn’t believe it. I was like ‘There’s no way.’ I had a tough time dealing with the news at first. I kept testing to see if it was true. I cried my eyes out because I worked so hard for that moment, but I couldn’t play alongside my guys. It was heartbreaking.
The Spun: You played against Justin Fields in practice. Does it drive you crazy that he’s not always considered one of the best quarterback prospects?
TT: Every time someone tries to doubt his work ethic, it gets me mad. I worked out with him at practice and off the field. He always has a great mindset and work ethic. You can ask someone who isn’t affiliated with Ohio State and they’ll tell you that Justin is one of the hardest workers out there.
#OhioState DT Tommy Togiai #72 is such a bully.
Torques his body to stay rooted in his spot. Uses his hands to discard the LG. And then hits the accelerator to the football. pic.twitter.com/cDBtDlWUUB
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 20, 2021
The Spun: Which defensive linemen do you study on film?
TT: I love watching guys like Fletcher Cox, Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald. I love watching them and seeing if there’s something I can pick up, like how they get off the line of scrimmage or use their hands.
The Spun: What’s something you know you’ll be great at during your rookie season?
TT: I think in the run game on first and second down, I’ll definitely make an immediate impact in that. Even rushing the passer – I think I’m underrated there. I’ll be able to show that I can get after the quarterback.
Look at Tommy Togiai go to work! pic.twitter.com/xzh55wPwpP
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) April 11, 2021
The Spun: What will your reaction be when you hear your name called during the draft?
TT: I’ll probably cry, knowing that all my hard work paid off. I’ll probably cry because I’ve made it to where I want to be.
The Spun: What is an NFL team getting in Tommy Togiai?
TT: I’d say they’re getting a great guy who’s accountable, puts his head down and goes to work. I don’t worry about the spotlight, I just work hard.
Just Work. pic.twitter.com/NBJmgYSGXn
— Tommy Togiai (@Big_Tom72) March 19, 2021
NFL analysts currently expect Togiai to come off the board on Day 2 of the draft. Scouts have raved about his burst off the line of scrimmage, how he uses his hands and his pad level.
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