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Chargers 90-in-90: FB Zander Horvath

Horvath achieved the rare feat of catching two touchdown passes across his first two NFL games to begin the 2022 season.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Zander Horvath hails from Mishawaka, Indiana where he played his prep ball at Marian High School. He rushed for over 3,000 yards and 50 touchdowns en route to breaking every rushing and scoring record in school history. For his efforts, he was named All-State and a USA Today Midwest Regional All-American.

Horvath did not play in 2017 due to a redshirt year but found his way onto the field in a reserve role during the 2018 campaign. He rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown on nine carries while adding 38 yards on four catches.

As a sophomore, Horvath earned four starts and played in 11 total games. He finished second on the team with 377 rushing yards and two touchdowns to go with 142 receiving yards and another score.

During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Horvath led the Boilermakers with 442 rushing yards while scoring twice. He also added career highs through the air with 30 receptions and 304 yards. His production regressed in his final season as he recorded just 320 rushing yards (career-high three touchdowns) and 108 receiving yards.

Horvath would go on to be drafted by the Chargers in the seventh round of the 2022 NFL draft. He won the starting fullback job over incumbent Gabe Nabers in training camp and immediately made an impact with the Chargers by catching the first touchdown of the season in the team’s win over the Raiders. The following week, he caught another touchdown pass against the Chiefs. He ended his rookie year with eight rushing yards and eight receiving yards to go with his two touchdowns.

Basic Info

Height: 6’3
Weight: 240
College: Purdue
Experience: 1
Years with team: 1

Contract Status

“Zander Horvath signed a 4 year, $3,737,008 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $77,008 signing bonus, $77,008 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $934,252. In 2023, Horvath will earn a base salary of $870,000, while carrying a cap hit of $889,252 and a dead cap value of $57,756.” -

The Good

Horvath is an athletic and versatile player who can play both traditional fullback and H-Back. His ability to catch and tote the rock helped him earn a pair of early touchdowns in his rookie season before the team started to stray away from utilizing him near the goal line. When he isn’t being used by the offense, Horvath still offers special teams contributions with his size and speed.

The Bad

It remains to be seen if Kellen Moore’s offense will utilize the fullback position enough to warrant a roster spot for Horvath. If the Chargers don’t see him as anything else but a lead blocker on run plays, his value to the roster will drop significantly.

Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2023?

Barring a change to the offensive personnel expected to be used under Kellen Moore, Horvath is the lone fullback on the team and should slot right in as the starter for another season. His versatility on offense, combined with his contributions as a special teams player, make him a valuable player to this team both on the field and against the cap.