For years, Tommy Togiai has been known around the Ohio State football program as the strongest man on the roster. On his way out of college and into the NFL, he'll make a case that he's one of the strongest players to ever play at this level.
Togiai will try to set a new NFL Combine bench press record with 50 reps of 225 pounds at next week's Ohio State pro day – and there'll be a donation element to it.
Since this year's combine was canceled, the event at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center – scheduled to take place on Tuesday – will be the only chance for NFL scouts, executives and coaches to get a first-hand look at former Buckeye players going through workouts. In Togiai's case he'll only have one shot at bench-pressing in front of them, so he announced on Friday he'll go for a new high mark.
Stephen Paea, a former Oregon State defensive tackle, currently holds the record with 49 reps at the 2011 NFL Combine.
Togiai initially told Eleven Warriors in January that he'd "try to" break the bench press record, though he mentioned he was mainly going to aim to get above 40 reps and go from there. Now, it appears he'll make a concerted effort to reach 50.
As part of his bench pressing, Togiai partnered with Ohio State's LiFEsports initiative. He's hoping to have Buckeye fans support him by making a donation for each rep he can complete. The LiFesports initiative has a stated mission to "enhance the quality of youth development, sport, and recreational programs through service and outreach, teaching and learning, and research, thereby increasing positive developmental outcomes for youth."
“Being at Ohio State the last three years, I have loved being a part of the Columbus community and I am grateful for the love and support the community has shown me,” Togiai said in a statement. “That is why it is important for me to do something positive to give back. I want to give back to all the kids in the community that cheered and supported me. I want them to have the opportunity I had when I was a kid to be able to participate in sports and chase their dreams.”
Donations can be made through Pledge It.