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Bolts Sign Six Members of 2024 Draft Class, 21 Undrafted Free Agents


The Los Angeles Chargers today announced that the team has signed six players selected in the 2024 draft class to rookie contracts — Michigan linebacker Junior Colson (No. 69 overall), Maryland defensive back Tarheeb Still (No. 137), Notre Dame defensive back Cam Hart (No. 140), Troy running back Kimani Vidal (No. 181), Southern California wide receiver Brenden Rice (No. 225) and Michigan wide receiver Cornelius Johnson (No. 253).

In addition to the six draft selections, the Bolts signed 21 undrafted free agents — Michigan guard Karsen Barnhart, Augustana quarterback Casey Bauman, Georgia Tech tight end Luke Benson, Florida State safety Akeem Dent, Fresno State wide receiver Jaelen Gill, Notre Dame safety Thomas Harper, South Dakota State tight end Zach Heins, North Carolina State outside linebacker Savion Jackson, Mississippi linebacker Jeremiah Jean-Baptiste, Oklahoma State wide receiver Leon Johnson, East Carolina wide receiver Jaylen Johnson, North Carolina State cornerback Robert Kennedy, Southern California linebacker Shane Lee, Coastal Carolina defensive lineman Micheal Mason, Central Florida outside linebacker Tre'Mon Morris-Brash, Campbell tackle Tyler McLellan, TCU guard Willis Patrick, Clemson safety Jalyn Phillips, Western Carolina tackle Tyler Smith, Mississippi cornerback Zamari Walton and Appalachian State center/guard Bucky Williams.

Colson was a second-team All-Big Ten selection each of the last two seasons after leading the team in tackles in 2022 (101) and 2023 (95). He ended his Michigan career by starting all 15 games in 2023, leading the nation's top-ranked defense as the Wolverines went on to record an undefeated season and win the College Football Playoff National Championship. Colson was voted as the program's toughest player by his teammates in 2023 and was on the watchlist for multiple national awards.

Over his three seasons (2021-23) in Ann Arbor, Mich., Colson started 36-of-43 contests at linebacker, posting 257 tackles (114 solo), 8.5 sacks, 2.5 sacks, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery. He was a Freshman All-American in 2021 after contributing on defense and special teams in his first season with the Wolverines. Colson is the ninth Michigan player drafted by the Chargers and the first since 2012.

As a senior at Maryland in 2023, Still earned second-team All-big Ten honors after totaling 45 tackles (31 solo), five interceptions, seven passes defensed and two tackles for loss. He was one of just three FBS players last season to have two or more games with multiple interceptions. Over the course of his four seasons at Maryland (2020-23), Still appeared in 39 games, posting 165 tackles (124 solo), nine tackles for loss, six interceptions, 28 passes defensed and two fumble recoveries, while also blocking a kick. Still is the first Maryland Terrapin drafted by the Chargers since selecting linebacker Shawne Merriman at No. 12 overall in 2005.

Hart, a team captain for Notre Dame in 2023, started 32-of-47 career games played over five seasons with the Fighting Irish (2019-23). He began his career in South Bend, Ind., as a wide receiver before returning to his roots as a defensive back, totaling 91 tackles (59 solo), 19 passes defensed, two interceptions and three forced fumbles. In 2021, Hart tied for the team lead with a pair of picks and paced all Fighting Irish defenders with nine pass breakups. With tackle Joe Alt being selected in the first round, Hart becomes the 24th Notre Dame player to be drafted by the Bolts, the second-most draft choices by the Chargers from any school.

One of college football's most productive running backs, Vidal ranked No. 2 in the nation with 1,661 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns on 297 carries (5.6 avg.) in 2023, earning Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year and Associated Press third-team All-American honors. He capped his college career by running for five touchdowns and 233 yards and in the 2023 Sun Belt Championship Game, becoming the first player in FBS history to record for five rushing scores in a conference championship in FBS history.

Vidal appeared in 48 games over his four seasons at Troy (2020-23), finishing his time as the program's all-time leader in rushing yards (4,010), attempts (781) and 200-yard rushing games (five), while tying for the most 100-yard rushing performances (14) and tying for No. 3 with 33 rushing touchdowns. The 2022 second-team All-Sun Belt selection added 92 receptions for 700 yards (7.6 avg.) and a touchdown. Vidal, the second-ever Troy player drafted by the Bolts, is the great-nephew of Baseball Hall of Famer and home run legend Hank Aaron.

Rice joins the Chargers after two seasons at Southern California (2022-23), where he recorded 84 receptions for 1,402 yards (16.7 avg.) and 16 touchdowns. He was a second-team All-Pacific-12 selection last season after ranking third in the conference with a team-high 12 receiving scores, while also setting career highs in receptions (45) and receiving yards (791). Rice began his career at Colorado, recording 27 receptions for 419 yards (15.5 avg.) and five touchdowns over his two seasons with the Buffaloes (2020-21). Rice is the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer wide receiver Jerry Rice, who won three Super Bowls and was a 13-time Pro Bowler and 10-time Associated Press first-team All-Pro selection.

Over five seasons at Michigan (2019-23), Johnson appeared in 61 games, making 45 starts at wide receiver and hauling in 139 receptions for 2,045 yards (14.7 avg.) and 14 touchdowns. Johnson was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in 2023 after setting a career high with 47 catches, adding 604 receiving yards and a touchdown grab, helping the Wolverines to a 15-0 record that culminated in being crowned College Football Playoff National Champions. The Greenwich, Conn., native caught an 87-yard touchdown in 2021, good for the fourth-longest touchdown reception in program annals. With linebacker Junior Colson, who the Bolts selected in the third round, Johnson is the 10th Michigan player ever selected by the Bolts.

Check out some photos of the 2024 Rookie Class arrive to Hoag Performance Center and get geared up by the Bolt's equipment staff!

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