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Sione Takitaki celebrates a sack for BYU against UMass, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 in Foxborough, Massachussetts. (Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo)
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Former BYU Linebacker Sione Takitaki Prepares For NFL Draft

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – After wrapping up his collegiate career at BYU, Sione Takitaki has been quite the busy man.

Projected to be a mid-round draft pick in this month’s NFL Draft, the former Cougar linebacker has been traveling all over the country to meet with coaches and team executives from several different teams.

It’s a grind, but Takitaki knows it will all pay off soon.

“Mentally, it’s kinda draining doing all these interviews, meeting teams and doing all that stuff but I feel like when you think about the whole picture, you want to be drafted, you want to go as high as you can,” he explained to KSL Sports’ Spencer Linton. “I feel like that kinda keeps you motivated, keeps you mentally sharp and keeps you aware of a lot of things.”

Advice From Former Cougars

Takitaki is looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow former BYU linebacker Fred Warner, who was drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft last year and had a terrific rookie season with the San Francisco 49ers.

While going through the pre-draft process, Takitaki has sought advice from Warner and other friends currently in the NFL.

“They just keep telling me ‘stay in shape.’ You’re doing all these visits, you’re doing all this ‘fluff stuff,’ that’s what they call it,” said Takitaki. “But make sure that you’re staying up on your conditioning, your lifting because once draft day comes, a couple days later, you’re flying out and they expect you to perform at a high level.”

Rising Draft Stock

His senior season at BYU definitely drew the attention of NFL scouts as Takitaki made down a team-high 119 tackles in 2018. In his final game as a Cougar, he had his best game yet with 19 tackles to help the Cougars secure a 49-17 victory over Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

After strong showings at the Reese’s Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, his draft stock has continued to rise.

After a collegiate career that was turbulent at times, Takitaki and his entire support group are eager to see where he’ll land at the next level.

“It’s definitely exciting because you know you can play some ball. Everybody’s believing in you, my wife, my family, everybody knew that I could play some ball,” said Takitaki. “I’m having to be in this position. I would it would all come, just keeping my nose down and keep grinding, I knew this opportunity would come.”

The NFL Draft will take place in Nashville, Tennesse from April 25-27.