Earlier this week I wrote about Noah Wanzek and his quest to play professionally. However, there are a couple more Hawks working out to fulfill their childhood dreams of being pro football players, as well.
DE Mason Bennett and WR Travis Toivonen are both currently training in hopes of getting a shot at some level, whether it’s NFL or CFL.
Bennett, a potential Top 10 pick in next week’s CFL Draft, is hoping to get picked up by the NFL this weekend. The 6’4″-260 pound defensive end has the size and twitch to get a look. He was ultra-productive in college, playing in 43 games and notching 20 sacks to go along with 31.5 TFL’s.
Bennett has hired agent Ray Haija of MGA. He has had several interviews with NFL teams (Raiders being one) recently and all it takes is one to like what they have heard and seen of Bennett. Mason is currently back in Grand Forks working out due to his gym being shutdown in Minneapolis. Also, Mason graduated in December so he is fully devoted his time to training.
Regardless of what happens this weekend, the Winnipeg native should be a first-round pick in the next Friday’s CFL Draft and have a long career in that league. That is, if he doesn’t hit it big in the NFL first.
Per the Rochester Post Bulletin, Toivonen has recently been working out down in Albuquerque where his girlfriends parents live. The 6’4″-210 pound wide receiver is an interesting prospect as he has the size and athletic ability to be a mismatch, much like his running mate Wanzek. Those two came in together back in 2016 and both ended up playing as true freshman due to a lack of depth at WR.
Over his four year career Toivonen caught 139 passes for 1,713 yards and 13 TD’s. The former high school basketball star chose football in college and much like Wanzek became a mismatch on the field. Toivonen had a knack for using his size on post/inside routes to block out the defensive back and make the catch.
Toivonen has the frame to bulk up and be a hybrid-type of WR/TE that seems to be the rage in football these days. He is represented by Fred Howard of Authentic Athletix.
Toivonen will be watching to see how the weekend shakes out with an eye on the CFL, as well. All three UND prospects, Bennett, Wanzek, and Toivonen, have a shot up of making a team up north. Toivonen graduates this spring from UND.