The Bolts signed just 10 undrafted free agents as opposed to the increased number that was warranted during last year’s pandemic-affected offseason.
With half the bodies in the group, the Chargers have to hope they landed a gem if they want their streak of 20+ seasons with a UDFA making the final 53 to continue.
Let’s dive in and get to know the team’s newest Bolts.
WR Eli Stove, Auburn - 6’0 191 lbs.
Stove met with the Chargers during the pre-draft process and he ends up landing with them as a UDFA. Coming into the season as Auburn’s most-experienced receiver, Stove recorded 44 catches for 359 yards and three touchdowns. In all, he ended with 1,186 receiving yards and six touchdowns on top of 554 rushing yards (10.1 avg.) and another four scores.
Eli Stove did this dude so dirty. pic.twitter.com/iKt1Gf1tZV— Ty Wurth (@WurthDraft) October 26, 2016
DT Jared Goldwire, Louisville - 6’6 305 lbs.
The Chargers add a massive body with Goldwire who appeared in 33 games for the Cardinals over the past three seasons and spent one prior year at Fort Scott Community College. He finished his career with 83 total tackles, 10 tackles-for-loss, four sacks, four pass deflections, and two blocked kicks.
K Alex Kessman, Pitt - 6’3 190 lbs.
Kessman held down starting placekicker duties for the Panthers from 2017-2020. During that time he piled up 341 total points to rank second all-time in school history and third in total scoring across all positions. Leave Pitt with 69 field goals made. Set the school record for most 50-yard kicks made with 12 total and the single-season mark with four (twice, 2018 and 2020). His mark of 66.7 percent (12-of-18) set an NCAA record from that range.
TE Hunter Kampmoyer, Oregon - 6’4 240 lbs.
The Chargers reunite the former Duck tight end with Justin Herbert in Los Angeles. Kampmoyer began his career as a defensive end before switching to tight end prior to the 2018 season. After posting one catch that season, he totaled 19 receptions for 220 yards and four touchdowns across 11 starts during his final two seasons in Eugene.
SO EXCITED that @oregonfootball Tight End @HunterKampmoyer is coming to the @CGSAllStar! Loved watching him play for the Ducks. Finished this season with 14 catches for 161 yards & 3 TD’s, including a 14-yard grab to help Oregon defeat #USC 31-24. #CGS2021 #Oregon #Pac12 pic.twitter.com/rlr5t0V5aI— Emily Van Buskirk (@Emilnem) January 8, 2021
OT Kyle Spalding, San Diego State - 6’6 305 lbs.
Originally recruited to play tight end, Spalding worked his way into the starting lineup at right tackle for three contests to end the 2018 season. Flipped to the left side in 2019 and started the first seven games there with four starts at right throughout the year. Held down blindside duties once again in all eight games this past season.
S Ben DeLuca, Charlotte - 6’1 215 lbs.
The Chargers landed the all-time leading tackler in Charlotte history in DeLuca. In four seasons, the 6’1, 215-pounder amassed 313 stops, 17 pass breakups, and nine forced fumbles to go along with 10 total takeaways (four interceptions, six fumble recoveries).
DeLuca leaves Charlotte with 38-career starts in 43 total games played. He set all the above records despite playing in just two contests in 2019 due to a season-ending injury. DeLuca earned Honorable Mention All-CUSA honors in 2017, 2018, and 2020.
Ben DeLuca with the pick and return into North Texas territory. DeLuca now has 10 career takeaways ✅— (@CharlotteFTBL) October 11, 2020
Sets up another touchdown, with Calvin Camp scoring from 14 yards out.
North Texas 21
9:51 | 4⃣ pic.twitter.com/xhDPeFVJgK
LB Amen Ogbongbemiga, Oklahoma State - 6’1 231 lbs.
Ogbongbemiga (pronounced awg-BONG-beh-MEE-guh) is. native of Nigeria but moved to Calgary in 2011. After redshirting his first year with the Cowboys, he played in 25 games across the 2017 and 2018 season, totaling 28 tackles, 5.5 tackles-for-loss, and 1.5 sacks. He also earned the 2018 Oustanding Special Teams Player award.
Ogbongbemiga was named a team captain in 2019 and started all 13 games en route to earning a Second-Team All-Big 12 selection and the team’s Leslie O’Neal Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year Award, named after the former Chargers legend. He recorded 15.5 TFLs and five sacks on top of 100 total tackles and an interception. He capped his Cowboy career with another 80 tackles, five for loss, and 2.5 sacks en route to another second-team honor in the Big 12.
Favourite Play from LB Amen Ogbongbemiga - Oklahoma State— BballZone1 (@BBALL_Z1) June 2, 2020
Ogbongbemiga is a speedy guy. He brings high energy to run support. With some work on his tackling, he can be special in 2020. pic.twitter.com/48ugD2qZ7z
DT Forrest Merrill, Arkansas State - 6’0 322 lbs.
Merrill started his career with Missouri State (redshirt) before moving on to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M for a single season where he recorded 30 tackles and 5.5 tackles-for-loss. In his first year with the Red Wolves, Merrill earned Second-Team All-Sun Belt honors after posting 4.5 sacks and 5.5 TFLs. A torn bicep cut short his junior season but he rebounded with another second-team honor in 2020 after notching 6.5 TFLs and two sacks in 11 starts.
OT Darius Harper, Cincinnati - 6’7 308 lbs.
Harper earned All-AAC Honorable Mention in 2020 after starting 10 games at right tackle for the Bearcats. Part of a unit that allowed a AAC-low nine sacks last season. Started eight of 14 games as a junior and say two games of action as a sophomore in 2018. Prior to Cincy, Harper played two years of basketball for Miami (OH) where he averaged 2.5 PPG and 1.9 RPG.
LS Ryan Langan - Georgia Southern - 6’1 225 lbs.
A long-snapper to add competition for Cole Mazza. Played in 51-straight games for GSU. 2020 Honorable Mention All-Sun Belt selection.