Posted On: 10/11/20 12:38 PM
Regis Jesuit opened the season Friday night with a 34-7 win over Mountain Vista as high school football officially returned in Colorado.
For one of their top players, he actually was unable to play. Offensive lineman Anthony TocchiniAnthonyTocchini6'4" | OLRegis Jesuit | 2021StateCO had to miss the game as a precaution, delaying his return to the field for his senior year a little longer.
“I was exposed to one of my classmates that was exposed (to COVID-19) two weeks ago,” Tocchini said. “I know that watching my guys out there playing, especially our running back David DodyDavidDody5'11" | RBRegis Jesuit | 2021StateCO, they ran hard and I know that we’re going to carry this into a big season for us.”
Even though he couldn’t play, Week 1 was still a special moment for him. A few days after the win, Tocchini capped a special weekend for him when he announced his verbal commitment to play football at New Mexico State on social media.
— Anthony Tocchini (@AnthonyTocchini) October 11, 2020
“I feel very excited about playing at the next level,” Tocchini said.
New Mexico State has become a perfect fit according to Tocchini. In addition to having a good business program to study, he said the relationship he developed with the coaches was strong, and he felt they would be coaches who could get him to succeed at the next level and beyond.
“I know they play great competition, and the coaching staff made me feel comfortable,” Tocchini said. “Under them, I know I’m going to do great things.”
Tocchini is a solid lineman who is built well at 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds. His versatility has been on display as well. He started his varsity career at the tackle position his sophomore year, and last year he moved to the interior and played center. His film shows him excelling in the run game and doing a good job of getting movement off the line of scrimmage and driving his feet to move defenders and open up running lanes behind him. His ability to stay low and bend his knees to play with great leverage is a key asset to his success. In addition to his run blocking success, Tocchini is solid in pass protection and is able to hold his own with both interior defensive tackles and pass rushers coming off the edge. You can see his highlights on hudl here.
A big reason for his success and development has been the commitment he puts into his craft. It starts at the Six Zero Academy and working with Matt McChesney to become a fundamentally sound offensive lineman. Tocchini is also committed in the weight room and with his team to become stronger and build chemistry with his teammates.
“I would spend four or five days a week at Six Zero Academy, and coach Matt McChesney would help me as much as he can with recruiting and on my technique and getting in good conditioning shape,” Tocchini said. “I also worked out with a trainer, Josh Landis, at Denver Performance. He helped me get up on my big lifts like bench and squat but also made sure I stayed strong and in shape. Then we had optional team workouts that I would attend.”
All that, he hopes, will lead to success on the field this fall. Regis Jesuit got off to a good start in Week 1 and will look to build on that when they travel to face Chaparral on Thursday. As for the next level, he plans to bring that hard work ethic with him to be the best lineman he can be for the New Mexico State Aggies.
“They are getting a very dedicated, hard-working player,” Tocchini said. “I have no doubt I will put in all the work they ask me to do, plus even more. I’ll be the first one in and the last one out. That is my mentality.”
Tocchini is currently the No. 8 ranked offensive lineman in the Class of 2021 by Prep Redzone Colorado and becomes the seventh lineman to announce a verbal commitment to play at the next level so far.