The inside defensive lineman was one of the Cleveland Browns’ anticipated needs ahead of the NFL Draft.
And while Andrew Berry waited until Round Four to answer it, he found a potential gem in the mix.
Tommy Togiai has started just 7 games for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
– Cleveland Browns (@Browns) May 1, 2021
He missed the 2020 national college football championship with a positive Covid-19 test.
Togiai might have enjoyed another college ball season, but he decided to skip his senior season.
Now he is a member of the rebuilt defense of the Cleveland Browns.
And director of player personnel Dan Saganey says Togiai is able to be a rotating player right away.
Here are 3 things to know about the new Browns DT Tommy Togiai.
1. Talk about the early NFL screenings!
Some children grow up faster than others, which makes parents dream of a sports career.
But Tommy Togiai looked like an NFL lineman right out of the womb.
With a whopping 12 pounds at birth, doctors immediately bet he would do 40 reps on his Pro Day benchpress.
I know there are a lot of OSU fans who are Browns fans and I know there are a lot of people who hate “draft OSU players”…
Tommy Togiai is awesome! Very underrated at OSU. It’s a STUD
– Browns Time (@DevotedBrownie) May 1, 2021
Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but they had a good idea that he would be an athlete for other reasons.
Talalelei (Tala) Togiai, Tommy’s father, was a professional rugby player in his native Samoa.
And his grandfather played college football and basketball.
Tommy’s older brother, TJ, was a four-year defensive tackle in the state of Idaho.
2. Best high school player in Idaho history?
Highland High School in Idaho had a lot of visitors during Tagiai’s senior year.
Everyone wanted to see the kid rack up 93 tackles and 11 sacks from the tackle position.
He also forced 2 fumbles and landed an assist on the way to his third selection for the first team, All-State.
Congratulations to Tommy Togiai for being drafted by the Browns !! Excited for you and your family !! Continue to make Idaho proud even if ESPN thinks you played in Utah. Same HS as Taysom Hill yes, Highland Rams – Pocatello, Idaho !!!! 🔥👊🏻🏈🐏 pic.twitter.com/o17fhR6bfQ
– Gino Mariani (@ GinoMariani14) May 1, 2021
Togiai was named U.S. Army Player of the Year and Gatorade Idaho Player of the Year.
Rival Sports and ESPN ranked him as one of the country’s best players and the 4th best tackle.
He helped lead the Highlands team to the 5A State Championship.
Then he became the first Idaho player to play football for the state of Ohio.
3. Togiai saves his best for Western Pennsylvania teams
Tommy Togiai did not become a starter for the state of Ohio until the 2020 season.
But he saw the game time straight away, including at the 2018 Rose Bowl, which the Buckeyes won.
As a starter, Togiai was credited with 23 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks.
Tommy Togiai stays in Ohio as Brown! 😌 pic.twitter.com/Qgf6QdvGsL
– OSU stool (@BarstoolOSU) May 1, 2021
But all 3 sacks came in a game against the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Could it be that the Browns’ defensive tackle has a peculiar middle streak against the Western Pennsylvania teams?
Three sacks against Ben Roethlisberger would make Togiai Berea’s toast.
And upgrade the legend of Andrew Berry’s magical drafting abilities.