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Stuckey, Epps sign contracts

Posted Jun 24, 2010

Safety, tight end become second and third draft picks to sign contracts.

SAN DIEGO – It’s been two months since Darrell Stuckey became a Charger.

He’s practiced with the team for weeks, worked out at Chargers Park every day and lived in a hotel with the rookies. He has his own number: 36.

But he never quite felt like San Diego was his team until he signed a four-year contract Thursday.

“To get that out of the way, it’s breathtaking,” said Stuckey, the team’s fourth-round draft selection. “I feel like I’m part of the organization and now I get to work without mentally, in the back of my (mind), worrying about if I’m a part of the organization yet or not.

“It’s a blessing to be a part of an organization as great as this one.”

Tight end Dedrick Epps also signed a four-year contract Thursday. Epps was not available for comment.

The strong safety and tight end become the second and third of six San Diego draft choices to sign a contract. Quarterback Jonathan Crompton, a fifth-round choice, signed a four-year deal June 3.

Lauded for his athleticism, draft analysts saw Stuckey as an impact player provided he grasps the defensive scheme and understands how to channel his physical tools.

He and Steve Gregory are the only players on the roster listed at that position. That means he’ll get plenty of reps during training camp. He looks forward to forging deeper bonds with his teammates during that time.

“That’s where you find out the strengths and weaknesses of the team and you exploit those weaknesses and make them advantages,” Stuckey said. “Iron sharpens iron. You go against the best every day and it makes you a better player.”

Stuckey made a combined 190 tackles his final two seasons at Kansas along with six interceptions and one sack.

Epps, a seventh-round pick, caught 19 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns as a senior at Miami.

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