With only 15 days left until Oregon State starts fall camp, we continue our countdown of the 25 most valuable football players. To follow-up from yesterday's preview of Sumner Houston, today's selection goes to Noah Togiai.
#15: Noah Togiai - H-Back
Noah Togiai is a 6-foot-4, 240-pound sophomore from Salt Lake City, Utah. Togiai originally committed to Oregon State's Pac-12 rival, the Utah Utes, but flipped his commitment when Oregon State readily agreed to let him play both basketball and football, something the Utes were more reluctant to do.
Noah Togiai was a three-star basketball recruit coming out of high school and colleges were more interested in having him play basketball than football. He was still considered a highly talented tight end prospect though; which goes to show that he has elite athleticism and versatility. Noah's brother, Ian Togiai, is a junior football player for Utah State which was another school that strongly recruited Noah Togiai.
During his true freshman year Noah Togiai split his time between basketball and football; while balancing school work and he still found himself in a starting role for the football team after Caleb Smith when out with a season ending injury.
Togiai recorded 10 receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman. Shortly after the football season ended he joined the basketball team and appeared in three games. After a few weeks he announced that he would exclusively focus his attention on football and would no longer play on Oregon State's basketball team. Togiai and the basketball team both have left the door open for a return but at this point in time it seems his heart is set on football and becoming an impact player for Oregon State's offense.
With a full off-season to focus on football and an impressive showing in spring practices, Noah Togiai has beaten out senior and incumbent starter Ricky Ortiz for the starting H-back position on Oregon State's most recent depth chart.
For those unfamiliar with the H-back position it's a unique hybrid position one that can call for blocking, catching, pre-snap motion, and even the occasional carry. In recent years the H-back at Oregon State has become much more involved in the passing game. Under Gary Andersen the offense has been more spread-out than ever before and Noah Togiai stands to benefit as the coaching staff is finding opportunities for him to receive the football in open space.
Noah Togiai had an impressive spring game, hauling in a team high 7 receptions for 107 yards. He looked impressive using his incredible blend of size and speed to snag the ball in traffic and make plays all over the field. I anticipate that Togiai will have a very productive year for the Beavers and will develop in to one of Oregon State's most consistent pass-catching threats.
Our "Fall Camp Countdown" continues tomorrow with the #14 Most Valuable Player for the Beavers in 2016.
The List So Far:
#15: Noah Togiai (H-Back)
#19: Seth Collins (WR)
#20: Dwayne Williams (CB)
#23: Manase Hungalu (LB)
#24: Elu Aydon (DT)