UND Football Alum Toivonen’s Unusual Path to the NFL

Signed with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Travis Toivonen caught over 130 catches for 1700 yards and 13 touchdowns in four seasons with North Dakota football ranking third all-time in program history, now the receiver is on an NFL roster after signing with the Seattle Seahawks coming in for a workout.

“There were three other receivers with me so basically it was a competition whoever preformed best and the coaches deemed that was going to be the one signed and who stayed while the other three went home so I ended up out performing those two,” Toivonen said. “I got a few compliments on my route running and then my ability to catch the ball so I think they were impressed with how I could move as a big receiver.”

It’s been quite the journey to get to this point. Toivonen went undrafted in 2020 and then played in the fan controlled league in its first season playing 7-on-7 football on a 50-yard field where fans called the plays on Twitch into the players helmets between that experience and running routes at Minnesota’s Pro Day helped gain some attention.

“When I told them that I played in that league. They knew what it was and asked how I did,” Toivonen said. “I got to meet a lot of new guys. I was able to learn more from the other people there. Many of them had nfl experience previously. Just absorbing more information and improving my skills playing football.”

After a year of not knowing if football was the answer and even putting the steps in motion of becoming a personal trainer, it all changed and now Toivonen is a few days into OTA’s catching passes from all-pro quarterback Russell Wilson.

“It all built up to this one moment where I was looking to do other stuff while still training instead of just focusing on football and then they called me,” Toivonen said. “I was just incredible timing. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’ve been catching balls and working out every single day so everything just feel perfectly into place.”

And don’t worry Fighting Hawks fans, Grand Forks will always have a special place in his heart.

“North Dakota and the city of Grand Forks is an incredible place to play my four years and have my college career,” Toivonen said. “Its just so awesome home much support I’ve had from my former teammates and former coaches. I still talk to them and update them on everything that’s going on. They couldn’t be happy for me. I’m grateful for my time there and it definitely helped build me into the person I am today.”

Toivonen’s deal is a three-year non-guaranteed contract giving him a spot on the 90-man roster. The Seahawks organized team activities continue over the next 10 days.

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