Wed, 25 May 2022

Chargers Communications

The Los Angeles Chargers announced that they signed five players selected in the 2022 NFL Draft to rookie contracts - UCLA defensive lineman Otito Ogbonnia (No. 160 overall), Georgia offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer (No. 195), Wake Forest defensive back Ja'Sir Taylor (No. 214), Mississippi defensive back Deane Leonard (No. 236) and Purdue fullback Zander Horvath (No. 260).

Ogbonnia (pronounced oh-TEET-oh oh-BONE-yuh) stays in the City of Angels after a four-year career at UCLA, where he appeared in 43 career games and totaled 79 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. He started all 12 games for the Bruins in 2021 along the defensive line, earning second-team All-Pacific-12 honors from Pro Football Focus and an invite to the Reese's Senior Bowl. Ogbonnia earned a spot on the Athletic Director's Honor Roll seven times and also competed for the Bruins track and field team in the shot put and discus throw in the 2018-19 season, competing in the NCAA Championships and the 2019 Pan American U20 Championships.

As a senior at Georgia in 2021, Salyer earned second-team Walter Camp All-America honors and second-team All-Southeastern Conference from The Associated Press and the conference coaches. He started at left tackle in 11 games and also saw action at right guard for the Bulldogs, helping the line allow just 16 sacks on the season en route to a College Football Playoff National Championship victory over Alabama. A team captain, Salyer was awarded the 2021 Dick Copas Leadership Award by the UGA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Throughout his career, Salyer saw action along the offensive line, appearing in 47 games and helping block for three 1,000-yard rushers. Over his four-year career, Georgia's 71 sacks allowed were the third-fewest among Power 5 programs.

Taylor, a two-year captain, ended his Wake Forest career as the program's all-time record holder with 62 games played over five seasons, starting the final 23 games of his career. He earned honorable mention All-Atlantic Coast Conference recognition the last two seasons and participated in the East-West Shrine Bowl in 2021 after setting career bests with 60 tackles (47 solo), four tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries. The Asbury, N.J., native earned ACC Specialist of the Week against Old Dominion after posting a 99-yard touchdown on his first career kickoff return. He added an interception in the contest, becoming the first-ever Demon Deacon to have a pick and a kickoff return for a touchdown in the same game.

In two seasons at Mississippi, Leonard played in 19 games for the Rebels, totaling 64 tackles (38 solo), 11 passes defensed, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery. He transferred to Oxford, Miss., after three seasons at the University of Calgary (Canada). In 23 games for the Dinos, Leonard recorded 47 tackles (44 solo), two forced fumbles and six interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. He also averaged 10.3 yards per punt return and scored a touchdown on a 60-yard return as a freshman. Leonard is the sixth current Charger from Canada (Tevaughn Campbell, Christian Covington, Ryan Hunter, Amen Ogbongbemiga and Joshua Palmer).

Horvath (pronounced HOR-voth) appeared in 35 career games at Purdue, earning Academic All-Big Ten honors three times. In 2020, he was named third-team All-Big Ten after posting three 100-yard rushing games and becoming the first Purdue running back to have a 100-yard receiving game in over 20 years. Over his career, Horvath totaled 1,081 rushing yards and seven scores while also catching 62 passes for 533 yards and a touchdown.

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