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5 Things to Know About New Chargers CB Essang Bassey

AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez
AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez

The Chargers on Wednesday claimed cornerback Essang Bassey off waivers.

Here are five things to know about the Bolts cornerback:

1. Recently in the AFC West

Bassey joins the Bolts after starting the season on the Broncos 53-man roster.

The fourth-year cornerback played in all four games to start the season in Denver, including one start.

He has played 143 defensive snaps during the 2023 season and served primarily as the nickel cornerback for the team. But he also contributed on special teams, where he's played 25 snaps this season.

Bassey earned a role on Denver after coming along with a strong preseason earlier this year, showing his ball hawking skills and notching an interception in each of the three games.

2. Return to Chargers

The cornerback makes a return to Chargers and Head Coach Brandon Staley's defense, where he played in one game during the 2021 season.

Bassey played 11 defensive and eight special teams snaps for the Bolts during his lone appearance with the team in late December 2021 and registered a solo tackle.

Check out the scenes from in and around SoFi Stadium when the Chargers celebrated Latino Heritage Month during their week 4 matchup against the Raiders.

3. Prior NFL experience

All of Bassey's NFL career has been spent with two teams — the stint with the Bolts and the rest in Denver.

Bassey was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Broncos in April 2020 and went on to make the initial 53-man roster in his rookie season. He would play 12 games for Denver in 2020, before being placed on injured reserve in December 2020.

His 2021 consisted of one game with the Broncos and the one game with the Bolts and then he would start 2022 on Denver's practice squad before being brought up to the active roster and playing 14 games with them last season.

4. Wake Forest star

Bassey played collegiately at Wake Forest, where he played in all 13 games right away as a true freshman in 2016. 

The cornerback would then build on his freshman campaign by tying the school record with 19 passes defended in his sophomore year and was second in the entire ACC in that category.

He would finish his college career being named a Second-Team All-ACC in 2018 and Third-Team All-ACC in 2019 as well as 50 career passes defended in 52 games.

5. Georgia native

Bassey was a First-Team All-State Class 5-A by different outlets in the state of Georgia, earning a three-star recruit status during his high school career prior to Wake Forest.

He played both sides of the ball in high school, finishing his senior season with 536 yards rushing, 577 yards receiving, 50 tackles and averaging nearly 30 yards per kickoff return enroute to leading Columbus High School to a playoff appearance.

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