The tight end position has not been a particularly productive position the last couple of years. Back in 2015, Gary Andersen’s first year as head coach at Oregon State, depth and injuries forced Noah Togiai to burn his redshirt and contribute early in the season. He finished with ten catches for 73 yards and a touchdown which was more than all the other tight ends combined (make that more than doubled).
After participating in two games for the the men’s basketball team, Togiai put an end to his Tony Gonzalez experiment for the time being and decided to focus solely on football. That decision appeared to be paying off as in the spring of 2016 Togiai was looking primed for a breakout season after forming quite the chemistry with Darell Garretson and catching seven balls for 107 yards in the spring game.
In the first game of the 2016 season, Togiai scored the first touchdown of the season for the Beavers and finished with four catches for 31 yards. It looked like Togiai was going to have a solid year before an injury derailed those plans on the very first play in the following game against Idaho State. This led to a second straight down year from the tight end group as the position was then mainly held by redshirt freshman Tuli Wily-Matagi and senior Ricky Ortiz who played linebacker the year before (and fullback the year before that).
Fortunately, Togiai was able to apply for a medical redshirt since he essentially missed the whole season due to injury, so he still has three years of eligible playing time. Now finally healthy (and bigger), Togiai looks to have picked up where he left off. In the recent scrimmage the Beavers played in Bend, new starting quarterback, Jake Luton, found Togiai for 3 touchdowns (they used to say a rookie quarterback’s best friend is his tight end). So we expect big things out of Togiai this year, he is #7 on our countdown after all.