Madden Football is a staple in American culture now. The video game has always been a big hit, but in recent years, it’s continued its ascension and now feels like as big of a part of football season as the actual football season. So, when the game officially releases their player ratings every year, it’s a pretty big deal. They’ve officially released their ratings for the incoming rookie class, and that includes former Cougar Sione Takitaki.

Takitaki’s official Madden rating is 70. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the game, the scale is out of 99. The top players in the NFL rarely get 99. Tom Brady was a 94 last season. So, it’s tough to get into the upper-90s. Takitaki’s 70 before he even plays a pre-season game is pretty darn solid. Takitaki opens the season as the seventh highest rating rookie linebacker, and the fifth highest rated rookie outside linebacker. The top rookie linebacker, former Florida State Seminole and current Carolina Panther Brian Burns, received a 75 rating. Takitaki isn’t far off despite being taken exactly two rounds after Burns. Takitaki was the eighth linebacker drafted in the NFL Draft a couple of months ago, but is the seventh highest rated rookie linebacker.

Jumping into some of the details behind Takitaki’s rating gets really interesting because you see what kind of player the experts at Madden are projecting him to be. The detailed ratings are:

Awareness: 64

Speed: 85

Acceleration: 89

Agility: 80

Strength: 76

BYU fans will be the first to point out that Madden is probably selling Takitaki’s football IQ a little short, but it’s hard to argue with the rest of his scores. Takitaki is faster than he gets credit for, but certainly isn’t going to be the fastest player on the field. His acceleration and closing speed is elite. If you don’t believe that, just go watch the BYU vs. Wisconsin game from last year and watch the way Takitaki is able to get into the backfield and blow plays up really quickly.

Overall, Takitaki is being respected by Madden. The early reports out of Cleveland have been very positive for Takitaki, so it appears that he is going to have many opportunities to see some time on the field during his rookie campaign for the resurgent Browns. The Browns will be on national TV in prime time games on four separate occasions this year, so BYU fans across the country will get to see Takitaki suit up.

In a world that doesn’t include the NCAA Football video game by EA Sports, Madden is the only chance for players to see themselves in a video game these days. The NFL is, obviously, a great accomplishment, but being rated and included in a video game has an additional ‘cool factor’ to it that is hard to replicate. Congrats to Sione Takitaki from all of us at Cougar Sports Insider.

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