Ohio State nose guard Tommy Togiai declares for the NFL draft

Bill Rabinowitz
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State nose guard Tommy Togiai announced he would enter the NFL draft on Monday.

Ohio State junior nose guard Tommy Togiai, who along with Haskell Garrett emerged as a standout to make the interior defensive line a strength for the Ohio State defense, has declared for the NFL draft.

"This has been one of the toughest choices I  have ever faced but after discussing with my family, it's best for me to forgo my senior season and my time to declare for the NFL draft," Togiai said Monday night on Twitter.

The Idaho native became a first-year starter after playing behind DaVon Hamilton and Robert Landers as an underclassmen and excelled. He had 23 tackles, including 4½ for losses. Togiai had three sacks, all in the Penn State game.

He missed the College Football Playoff championship game loss to Alabama because of COVID-19 protocols.

"The Ohio State University has truly changed my life," Togiai said in his announcement. "I've had so many ups and downs during my time here. I want to thank all of my coaches for everything they have done for me. They have pushed me to limits I never thought possible and I am forever grateful for them."

Togiai has been regarded as the Buckeyes’ strongest player almost since his arrival. This year, he put it all together. He was disruptive against the run and also showed surprising speed in helping make plays on the perimeter.

"The thing that Tommy does is he hustles so hard, day in and day out, at practice, in the games," defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs said late in the season. "He's just a relentless force. If you don't stay on him, he's going to find himself at the ball.”

Togiai was a second-team All-Big Ten selection by both coaches and media.