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Ex-WSU DE Logan Tago chasing his NFL dream with the Seahawks

WSU's Logan Tago earned All-Pac-12 second-team honors in 2018. (Getty)

Logan Tago was scheduled to walk the stage Saturday at Washington State University to receive his degree in Social Sciences. Instead, he found himself on the other side of the state as one of 68 players competing for a spot on the Seahawks roster.

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Standing now on the shores of Lake Washington, the pass rusher says he has no regrets about receiving his diploma in the mail.

“I gotta do it in honor of what I love. I love football and I’ve always wanted to be an NFL player,” Tago explained after the Seahawks wrapped up their first day of rookie minicamp at team headquarters in Renton.

While he is best known for his defensive prowess at Washington State, Tago’s love for football began long before his days on the Palouse. Hailing from American Samoa, he was inspired by one of the greats.

“I grew up watching Troy Polamalu. He’s the reason why I love football,” says Tago.

“He’s the reason why I picked up a football when I was a kid. So, football was always the dream.”

And here on a sunny weekend in the Seattle area, he has the chance to live out that childhood aspiration. Rookie minicamp invites are packed with talent across all positions. Draft picks are present, but so are so-called “bubble players” – those athletes who were not drafted nor signed but now have their shot at an NFL roster.

The intensity isn’t lost on Tago, who was quick to adopt a familiar Seahawks mantra.

“Always compete – everybody competes, trying to get a spot,” Tago said. “I got here and they put me at the ones. It was a great opportunity to perform with the ones on the first day.”

The “ones” Tago refers to means the first team, or the starters, should this have been a regular-season practice. Battling it out on the field is one thing, but in a quick three days, the classroom is equally important – and Tago knows it.

“Now I’m trying to get in the playbook as much as I can to get my plays down.”

Teams across the league are allowed one three-day rookie minicamp, either the weekend of May 3-6 (like the Seahawks) or May 10-13. Seattle’s 11 draft picks were at camp, as were numerous players who signed free agent contracts after going undrafted. Then there are the players like Tago who received an invite to Seattle’s camp but are free to attend others, as well.

“I got an invite from Tennessee too, but we’re trying to focus on this one,” he said.

But there is something special about competing in the same state in which he attended school.

“It means a lot, to come back here – I enjoy the weather. It’s 50-something, most people say it’s cold,” he said with a laugh, “but I’m used to it – this is what we do.”

Regardless of what the future holds for Tago in football, putting on his first professional jersey (of hopefully many) this weekend will remain emblazoned in his memory.

“It was one of the best moments, especially of my football career – to be able to be out here and perform at my best level,” Tago said. “It was one of the best memories ever.”

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