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Chargers 90-in-90: DL Willie Yarbary

Yarbary is one of four Spring League players chasing a dream with the Bolts.

Willie Yarbary is a native of Augusta, Georgia where he starred for the Academy of Richmond County. As a senior, he led his team with 106 tackles to go along with 9.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, and an interception. His efforts earned him Region 3-4A Defensive Player of the Year honors on top of being named to the All-Central Savannah River First Team. He left high school as the 53rd-ranked defensive tackle prospect in the nation before landing at Wake Forest.

After redshirting his first year on campus, Yarbary earned playing time in 11 of his team’s 12 games in 2015, finishing with 11 tackles and a half TFL. The following season, he started a pair of games and played in 10 others. He ended the year with 21 total tackles and 2.5 sacks.

Yarbary earned a starting job in 2016, starting all 13 games and finishing with 30 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, and four sacks. As a senior, Yarbary started every game once again and finished with career-highs of 54 tackles, 11 TFLs, and 5.5 sacks with one fumble recovery.

After going undrafted in 2019, Yarbary spent time with the Falcons in training camp but failed to make it through final cuts. After that, Yarbary spent a short stint with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, playing in one preseason game.

Following the CFL, Yarbary spent time in The Spring League and then became a late addition to the Massachusetts Pirates of the Indoor Football League for their playoff push, playing their final two regular season games.

Yarbary signed with the Chargers on June 18 along with three other players from The Spring League.

Basic Info

Height: 6’2
Weight: 285
College: Wake Forest
Experience: 0
Years with team: 0

Contract Status

“Willie Yarbary signed a 3 year, $2,425,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $808,333. In 2021, Yarbary will earn a base salary of $660,000, while carrying a cap hit of $660,000.” - Spotrac.com

The Good

Yarbary was a disruptive player at Wake Forest during his two seasons as a starter. His success despite a lack of ideal size speaks to his non-stop motor and tenacity. Brandon Staley and his staff obviously saw something in Yarbary to have given him a chance, so hopefully time is able to show us just what those things were.

The Bad

His ‘tweener size puts him at a natural disadvantage to most of the other defensive lineman on the team. Undrafted for a reason, Yarbary hasn’t been able to stick in the NFL nor the CFL up to this point.

Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2021?

Yarbary is at the bottom of the depth chart and I can’t see much reason for optimism regarding his chances of making a splash with the Chargers. The team also signed a pair of defensive tackles as undrafted players in April and both offer more upside than Yarbary.