CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - With their third round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select LB Sione Takitaki from Brigham Young University.
The 6′ 1″ tall, 238 pound linebacker hails from Fontana, CA.
Takitaki’s NFL Draft prospect bio highlights his personal struggles and triumphs before being the 80th pick of this year’s draft:
“Takitaki had a tough go early in his career at BYU. He was briefly kicked off the team after being involved in a dorm fight before his freshman year. However, his teammates voted him back onto the team, so he played in 11 games as a reserve (19 tackles, four for loss, three sacks) though he was suspended again later for one game after skipping a practice. Takitaki was suspended again to start his sophomore campaign after he allegedly stole property while working as a campus custodian. He reached a plea deal in the case, but was suspended for the second half of that season for violating team rules (he had 21 tackles, seven for loss, 3.5 sacks in six games). Takitaki was married in 2016, spending that year away from football to get his academics (and life) in order. He finished his career with the Cougars on a high note, though. He started 12 of 13 games in 2017, mostly at defensive end (79 tackles, 12.5 for loss, five sacks). Takitaki then was named a team captain for his senior season, starting all 13 games at linebacker and leading the Cougars with 118 tackles (nine for loss, three sacks) -- including 19 against Western Michigan in the team’s bowl game. Takitaki was an All-CIF Southern Division pick and Defensive Player of the Year as a senior at Heritage High.”
Even Browns Assistant GM Eliot Wolf talked about how “he completely turned his life around" after Takitaki was selected:
19 News Sports Anchors Tony Zarrella and Mark Schwab also shared their reaction to the Browns’ selection: