Name: Dillon DeBoer
College: Florida Atlantic
NFL games played: 0
Games played for the Chargers: 0
Fun fact: DeBoer went to East Lake High School in Florida, which has 2,160 students. Amazingly, he's not the only Charger who attended East Lake, as fellow UDFA Artavis Scott was there at the same time DeBoer was!
DeBoer might not have played for a very good team in Florida Atlantic (the Owls went 6-6, 3-9, 3-9 and 3-9 in his four years as a starter there), but he was a clear standout on the Owls offensive line. He's got the size, at 6'6, 300 lbs, and has the versatility, having played all along the line in college. His first chance to start in college came at RG in 2013. DeBoer stayed at RG in 2014, but moved to starting C in 2015. He was pencilled in as the starting C in 2016, but was asked to play LT just a few days before the season opener, and stayed at LT for the opening two games of the season before moving back to C, where he stayed for the remainder of the season.
When asked if he had a favourite position, DeBoer said: "I'd probably feel most comfortable at center, because that's what I've played most recently. I really have no preference. I have fun playing it all. That's probably my biggest selling point is I can play all five positions."
That versatility is definitely going to come in handy - the Chargers already have Matt Slauson, Max Tuerk and Spencer Pulley as potential centers, and so there's not really a job opening at that spot. The Chargers still have a lot of depth all across the line, but if DeBoer has a strong camp and preseason he could force the coaches hand into keeping him around. If not, I'd hate to be the person who tells DeBoer he hasn't made it - he benched 225 25 times at his Pro Day, the best out of anybody participating.
DeBoer is clearly bright. He made the Conference USA All-Academic team in both 2015 (when just 12 student athletes did) and in 2016 (when just 11 did). He graduated with a degree in finance in 2016 with a 3.37 GPA, and began working on a Master's in Business. These aren't just throwaway degrees, either - after football, DeBoer aspires to become a Financial Planner - you don't get many athletes in the NFL that have that as a life goal.
The FAU sporting teams had a very cool community service initiative, where they heavily encouraged their players to go out and give back to the community - in 2015-2016, the department set a new record for time spent, with student athletes combining for more than 3,000 community service hours charted.
DeBoer did more than his fair share of those hours. He helped freshmen get acclimatised to their new surroundings on move in day, but, more interestingly, DeBoer spent time volunteering with the 'Ruff Start' program, who do a fantastic job rescuing stray, neglected or abandoned animals and find them new homes. That's a pretty cool way to spend your time in college.
Is there anything else interesting about DeBoer? Maybe, but if there is, I can't find it. Even the Chargers website has no information on him - the only things they list are his jersey number, position, size, college and the fact that he's a 'Rookie'.
DeBoer - like so many offensive linemen - don't get the media coverage that their teammates do. He wouldn't have been the star in High School, so he doesn't have any lengthy features on him from local newspapers. Despite being one of the stars of a Florida Atlantic team, he wasn't perceived as 'interesting' enough to write about, and so he's gone under the radar for his entire sporting career.
Now that DeBoer's in the big leagues, that could change. In fact, it's going to have to. DeBoer is buried on a depth chart that has a lot of depth, and he needs to climb his way up it if he's going to survive and make it to the 53 man roster. For the first time in his life, going under the radar won't be enough for DeBoer. He's going to need to make an impression - quickly. If he doesn't, that career in Financial Planning may not be too far away.
Best of luck, Dillon.