NFL Combine: Brett Toth

Senior tackle Brett Toth has arrived in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.

Toth is the first Army football player to participate in the combine since linebacker Caleb Campbell and punter Owen Tolson in 2008.

Toth’s schedule for the week includes testing and interviews Wednesday, bench press and testing Thursday and on-field workouts for offensive linemen Friday.

Toth appeared on SIRIUS XM’s Late Hits Monday night and told hosts Alex Marvez and Bill Polian that he’s down lost a few pounds from his playing weight of 305 to prepare for the Army Physical Fitness Test, which requires all graduating cadets to complete a two-mile run in under 15 minutes.

Here’s some excerpts of Toth’s interview:

On what he experienced playing in the Shrine Game and Senior Bowl last month

“For starters, going to the Shrine Game and going to the Senior Bowl, it was just exposing myself to the pro-style offense. Getting out there and getting involved with some of the coaching staffs and playing some ball with some of the other great players that will be at the combine as well. You get so few opportunities to play this sport especially since I may be out for a while with my service in the upcoming years. I just want to get as much as possible while I still can right now.”

On his path to the NFL following West Point graduation in May

“You find out a new piece of information it seems like every week the further we go with it. But again coming to West Point everyone knows there’s a five-year commitment that comes after graduation. With that upon graduation, the biggest clause for track runners, handball players, wrestlers, hockey players, there’s a program called the World Class Athlete program, in which right after commissioning they can partake in the Olympic training, practicing their sport and playing their sport. Unfortunately, the Olympics doesn’t offer football. There’s another clause that was passed in recent years that after two years of active duty service you can request to transition into a reserve unit and still do things on weekend time but still go and pursue your sport. As of now, that’s the most understanding I have of it.

“Higher ups whenever they come around and whenever they talk to some of our coaches or staff, they try to pass on whatever information that they have at that point because it comes up in conversation where we currently are. I’d say through this entire process I just learned to count my blessings.I’m appreciative of both opportunities. Either way, I have a great career in front of me.”

On completing the Army Physical Fitness Test and the two-mile run in under 15 minutes

“Naturally at a 300-pound lineman’s weight, I’m not really in the best condition to be doing that. In this offseason, I’m having to control my weight. Going to the combine I’m in low 290s, trying to do both to the best of my abilities. I have to pass that test along with the rest of the Army Physical Fitness Test as well as an indoor obstacle course, which kicks my butt just about every time I do it. It’s just the nature of the beast.

On Steelers Pro Bowl tackle and West Point graduate Ali Villanueva being a role model and an example to follow 

“Ali is one hell of a person as well as one hell of a player. I definitely look up to him for his morals and characteristics as well as what he can do on the football field.”

On how he landed at West Point 

“It was a long journey. I’m from Charleston and in the area you have the Citadel and VMI. Initially, I didn’t want to go to a military school. I kind of told my coaches that. At this point, I’m thankful that I matured through that process. Tony Coaxum was part of the old staff and spent some years with Denver. He convinced me to take an official visit to West Point. He came in and the pitch you get from West Point is it’s not about the next 4 years, it’s about the next 40 years and you are going to have responsibilities as well as problems that no other kid in America is going to have.

“It just resonated with me that this is a greater calling. You are truly going to be unique. I came in here at 17 years old. My mom had to sign off on me coming here for that. Once I got here, you are exposed to what this place has to offer. There’s so many mentors both on the coaching side as well as the officer side. You can’t go 10 feet without finding someone that has some sort of inspirational story. Through that, you also meet the Brotherhood and older players that were here whether it would be Gadson or Chuck Schretzman. Those are guys that were on the 1989 team, two captains that really stuck out because of their stories. For guys that like that to come up and tell you that the brotherhood comes first and that’s what keeps them going, it stuck with me and from there, I was sold.”

On picking up pass protection after playing in Army’s run-dominant triple-option system

“In the two weeks of the all-star games, there was an emphasis put on that (pass protection) to show that I have the capability of taking what the coaches say and taking the instruction and taking everything from the film room to the field. Often, you often get the reference that this isn’t rocket science (Toth is a physics major on a nuclear engineering tract). It’s kind of funny because my teammates end up chuckling any time I get it.”

On the toughest part about blocking techniques in NFL compared to college 

“During Shrine Game (the coaches) focused a lot on vertical settings, finding the intersection point between the rusher and quarterback. Going to the Senior Bowl, they taught more of a jump set and we want to approach them faster before he (the pass rusher) can get into his break and stall him before he can put a move on. Again from someone who was running 90 percent of the time, you find out there’s two different pass blocks, it kind of blows your mind.”


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    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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