Brett Toth is a 6-foot-6, 305-pound offensive lineman who’s at the Senior Bowl and hoping to make a good impression on NFL talent evaluators. But he has no intention of playing in the NFL this year.
Toth goes to Army, and he has a two-year military commitment to serve. And although athletes from service academies have sometimes been given exemptions that allowed them to play professional sports without going into active military service first, Toth said he has a duty to serve two years and plans to fulfill that duty.
“The NFL dream waits until my service is done,” Toth said, via USA Today. “You have that dream ever since you started playing ball, or even being young and in the backyard playing ball. But again, being at West Point, initially thought it was going to be five years [of military service], for me at least. Going in, I didn’t think [the NFL] was going to be something for me. But now, under the current administration, the requirement is two years, so it looks like I might be doing both.”
Toth didn’t know he was going to grow into the kind of athlete who could be an NFL prospect, but he says even if he had known, he would have chosen West Point over a football factory for college.
“People throw out there: Do I regret it? Absolutely not. I couldn’t imagine it any other way,” he said.
So Toth will serve his country now, and in 2020 he’ll see if some NFL team has interest in a young man who made football his second priority.