High School Football

College football powerhouses all chased this Idaho native. He made his choice Tuesday.

Highland defensive tackle Tommy Togiai breaks upfield during a 5A state semifinal game at Rocky Mountain High.
Highland defensive tackle Tommy Togiai breaks upfield during a 5A state semifinal game at Rocky Mountain High. jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com

Highland defensive tackle Tommy Togiai received offers from more than 20 of the nation’s top college football programs.

But the senior chose Ohio State on Tuesday, tweeting his verbal commitment to the Buckeyes after Ohio State coach Urban Meyer visited the Pocatello high school.

“First off, I want to thank all the coaches that have recruited me and gave me the opportunity to play at their universities,” Togiai tweeted. “This whole recruiting process has been tough on my family and I, but after many discussions I have decided to commit to The Ohio State University.”

The 6-3, 295-pound senior is ranked the No. 9 defensive tackle in the country and a four-star recruit by 247Sports.com. Earlier this fall, the U.S. Army All-American was ranked the No. 2 defensive tackle in the country.

Togiai also held offers from Washington, USC, Boise State, Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin, among others, according to 247Sports.

“Togiai is a big tackle but has defensive end/outside linebacker athleticism,” Scout.com National Recruiting Director Brandon Huffman told the Idaho Statesman in September. “He’s not a bad-bodied 290. He’s an athletic and well put-together 290. (He’s) quick off the ball with tremendous strength, yet could still add more weight.”

Togiai was named the Gatorade Idaho Football Player of the Year on Monday, and he earned first-team All-Idaho honors as a sophomore and a junior. He racked up 93 tackles and 11 sacks this fall to lead Highland to the 5A state championship.

Meyer told Togiai he’d never recruited a player from Idaho on an unofficial visit last year, Highland coach Gino Mariani said.

Togiai is the sixth Idaho high school senior to commit to an FBS scholarship ahead of the early signing period, which starts Dec. 20. The others include Coeur d’Alene quarterback Colson Yankoff (Washington), tight end Cole Ramseyer (Boise State) and offensive lineman Noah Gunn (Air Force), as well as Rocky Mountain defensive lineman Keeghan Freeborn (Boise State) and running back Carter Kuehl (Air Force).

Michael Lycklama: 208-377-6424, @MichaelLycklama