While Toefield suited up in purple and gold for three seasons, many Tiger fans might consider his brief career comparable to the half inning of action Graham (played by Burt Lancaster) saw in 1922.
Graham's only dream was to bat in the major leagues, which Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) allowed him to do when he stepped onto that cornfield baseball diamond in Iowa 66 years later. It is probable Toefield had dreams and aspiration he would have liked to attain while a collegiate football player, but for him, there is no cornfield.
Toefield silenced all rumors last week when he made it official he would forgo his senior season at LSU and head for the NFL.
Many believed the 6-0, 235-pound Independence, La. native would stick around for his final year at LSU. Toefield, however, had other plans.
"I just felt it was the right time," Toefield said on Monday. "I talked it over with my family and they are behind me 100 percent."
Toefield said his decision to bolt to the pro leagues had a great deal to do with an unfortunate string of injuries which plagued what could have been a bright career.
"I have been through a lot with my injuries over the years," he said. "Right now I am healthy."
Few can blame the bruising runner for his decision not to stay in Tigertown for his final season. No one will truly know how good Toefield might have been had he had been allotted the full amount of playing time during his stay. A rash of injuries kept Toefield on the sidelines for a considerable amount of his career, including two of the biggest games of the Nick Saban era – the SEC Championship game and the Nokia Sugar Bowl, both during the 2001 season.
"I've had a wonderful time at LSU," Toefield said. "The coaches have been great, the fans are the best and I've really enjoyed the friendships that I have made with my teammates. It's just the right time for me to go."
Toefield's misfortunes began in his days prior to matriculation to Baton Rouge. Near the end of his junior season, Toefield suffered a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and missed his entire senior year at Independence High School. To put his injury in some perspective as well as the advancement of medicine from 1997 to the present, LSU quarterback Marcus Randall tore his ACL in the spring game last April. Five months later, he saw action in the LSU-Citadel game in early September. Not only did he return to action on a re-constructed knee, he finished out the last seven games of the season as the Tigers' starter when quarterback Matt Mauck was lost to injury in the Florida game.
Toefield redshirted in his first season in baton Rouge, the 1999 campaign, which was also the final year of the Gerry DiNardo era. However, he leapt onto the scene as a redshirt freshman a year later when he was the featured back of the LSU offense under first-year head coach Nick Saban.
Quickly, Toefield became known as a punishing runner and showed a flash of sheer speed along with brute force breaking free for a 72-yard touchdown run before a nationally-televised game against Tennessee on ESPN. The run sparked one of the most rousing wins in Tiger Stadium history as well as the first big victory of the Saban era as LSU defeated Tennessee 38-31 in overtime.
Heading into his junior season, Toefield was regarded as one of the top running backs in the SEC as well as the entire nation. In what would be his best season as a collegian, Toefield scored a record 19 touchdowns and anchored a ground game which served as a perfect compliment to the Tigers' high-flying aerial assault. Toefield pieced together run, after memorable run through the regular season. His most famous scamper of the season came just three plays into the Arkansas game, a 41-38 LSU victory, when he broke free for a 60-yard touchdown, outrunning the entire Razorback secondary.
Just when things were going well for Toefield, though, injury struck.