Jerry Attaochu (uh-TAU-choo) is eager to get back into the fold for the Chargers in 2017.
Coming off a career year in 2015 during which he set career highs in tackles, sacks and tackles for loss, Attaochu was looking forward to a big season in 2016. His year, however, was cut in half by injuries as Attaochu appeared in just eight games. He missed three games in the middle of the season as result of an ankle injury and then during his second game back in late-November in Houston, Attaochu suffered a broken foot that brought his season to an early end.
A raw talent and former second-round pick, Attaochu heads into 2017 with career totals that include 86 tackles, 10 sacks and 20 tackles for loss.
Attaochu was born in Ibadan, Nigeria. He moved to the United States at age eight. His father, Paul, was an exchange student in the U.S. in the 1980s, who later returned to Nigeria where he married Attaochu’s mother, Comfort. When the family returned to the States, they settled in Washington, D.C. Attaochu didn’t start playing football until the ninth grade, and it was a bit of a fluke that he did. Attaochu stumbled into a line for athletic physical exams, thinking they were for the soccer team, only to discover they were actually for the football team at Archbishop Carroll (Washington, D.C.) High.
Attaochu parlayed that misunderstanding into a collegiate career at Georgia Tech that saw him earn All-America and All-ACC accolades. One of the nation’s most gifted athletes, he racked-up a school-record 31.5 career sacks for the Yellow Jackets.
The Chargers selected Attaochu in the second round (50th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. He had long had his eye on becoming a Bolt. Eager to play in San Diego, Attaochu had approached several members of the Chargers’ coaching and scouting staff at the 2014 NFL Senior Bowl to gauge the team’s interest in him.
Attaochu is a passionate soccer fan whose favorite teams are the United States, Nigeria and France.
Attaochu was a science, technology and culture major at Georgia Tech. With an eye toward life after football, he spent two years interning with the Barton Executive Search Firm in Atlanta, where Tech’s campus is located.
Attaochu was selected as the Chargers Man of the Year in 2016 for his work in the community. Attaochu and his father founded the Glory’s Hope Sickle Cell Foundation in 2015. Attaochu’s younger sister, Glory, suffers from Sickle Cell Disease. The Foundation supports research, education and creates awareness of Sickle Cell in both Africa and the United States. In 2016, Attaochu organized a blood drive in Washington D.C. to help children and adults with Sickle Cell and in March, he hosted a Spin Cycling event.
In 2016, Attaochu also spent time on Capitol Hill as part of the American Diabetes Association’s Team Tackle campaign. He joined forces with fellow NFL players to raise diabetes and pre-diabetes awareness.
TRANSACTION HISTORY: Second-round pick by Chargers (50), May 9, 2014...signed May 21.
2016: Chargers Man of the Year...14-yard sack on 3rd-and-14 capped three-and-out Sept. 11 at Kansas City...also tallied three pressures vs. Chiefs... five-yard sack on 3rd-and-13 to force punt early in first quarter Oct. 2 vs. New Orleans...Bolts scored game-tying touchdown on ensuing possession... inactive Oct. 23 at Atlanta, Oct. 30 at Denver and Nov. 6 vs. Tennessee (ankle)...suffered broken foot late in Houston contest Nov. 27...placed on “Reserve-Injured” Dec. 3.
2015: Inactive Sept. 13 vs. Detroit (hamstring)...selected as team captain by Head Coach Mike McCoy for Cleveland game Oct. 4 and responded with career-high two sacks and team-high four quarterback hits in 30-27 win...two tackles for loss among season-high 10 tackles and team-leading three quarterback hits Oct. 12 vs. Pittsburgh on ESPN’s Monday Night Football...two third-down sacks to cap off three-and-outs Oct. 18 at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field...team-high three quarterback hits Nov. 9 vs. Chicago...early fourth-quarter sack to help force three-and-out Nov. 22 vs. Kansas City...Dec. 13 at Kansas City had early tackle for loss, forced fumble on punt return, and late third-quarter sack on 3rd-and-10 play...shared 11-yard sack and two tackles for loss in 30-14 win over Miami Dec. 20...helped force punt on Dolphins’ opening series of game with one-yard tackle for loss on first down and three-yard shared tackle for loss on 2nd-and-11...on opening series of third quarter, helped cap three-and-out with 11-yard shared sack with Melvin Ingram on 3rd-and-9...team-high three tackles for loss, all in third quarter during three-and-outs, Dec. 24 at Oakland.
2014: NFL debut on national TV in Week 1 at Arizona and blocked punt that led to field goal...then made special teams tackle at 18 on ensuing kickoff...in third quarter, four-yard sack and forced fumble on 3rd down was recovered by Dwight Freeney and led to TD for 17-6 lead...injured hamstring Sept. 21 at Buffalo...inactive vs. Jacksonville (Sept. 28) and New York Jets (Oct. 5)...returned Oct. 12 at Oakland, but re-injured hamstring...inactive Oct. 19 vs. Kansas City, Oct. 23 at Denver and Nov. 2 at Miami...late nine-yard sack in 13-6 win against Oakland Nov. 16.
COLLEGE: Third-team All-America by Associated Press and CBS Sports and first-team All-ACC as senior after placing second in ACC and sixth in nation with 12.5 sacks...school-record 31.5 career sacks...single-game high four sacks Georgia (2013)...honorable mention All-ACC as sophomore and junior...2012 ACC Linebacker of Week after three sacks vs. Maryland...2011 ACC Linebacker of Week and Football Writers Association National Player of Week after three sacks and forced fumble against North Carolina...started 37 of 49 career games and totaled 196 tackles, 43.5 tackles for loss, interception and four forced fumbles...played at Georgia Tech from 2010-13...science, technology and culture major.
PERSONAL: Born in Ibadan, Nigeria...team captain as junior and senior at Archbishop Carroll High in Washington, D.C.