After barely graduating from Medina High School in Ohio, the football team’s star wide receiver Chad Toocheck led a troubled life including an addiction to alcohol and drugs (cocaine, LSD, painkillers). While his friends were in college, Toocheck was jobless, getting drunk and getting high. At the age of 21, he got sober and eventually started practicing football again. He got the chance to play at Santa Barbara City College in California for one year as a second-string tight end. Then he got a full scholarship to the University of West Alabama. He was 26 when he started his senior season at West Alabama.
This summer Toocheck attended pre-draft camps in Chicago and Arizona, but tweaked his hamstring in Arizona. Toocheck wasn’t picked in the seven-round NFL Draft. The Medina Gazette reports: “Nor did he latch on with any of the league’s 32 teams as a free agent.” After hearing the news, Toochek said “I’ve got to get back to my sobriety basics. I’m on slippery ground” — although he reassures everyone that “I’m not going to go drink or use drugs again.” Toocheck does have a couple of jobs to fall back on. He’s volunteering as a wide receivers coach at Medina High School and he’s been working as a public speaker warning kids about drug addiction. Toocheck is one of eight players featured in the NFL Network series NFL: Undrafted which airs Tuesdays at 8pm. Episodes will be reshown after every Thursday Night Football postgame show.