The Los Angeles Chargers continued the 2023 NFL Draft with two selections on Friday. The Bolts drafted Southern California outside linebacker Tuli Tuipulotu (54th overall) and Washington State linebacker Daiyan Henley (85th overall), adding a pair of Los Angeles Area natives and 2022 first-team All-Pacific-12 selections.
Tuipulotu (name pronounced TOO-lee TOO-ee-poo-LOW-too), one of college football's most dominant pass rushers, led the Pac-12 and ranked third in the nation with 12.5 sacks in 2022, earning consensus All-America honors. In addition to the All-American recognition, he was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Year and first-team All-Pac-12. Tuipulotu added a pair of forced fumbles to become the only Trojan to top 11 sacks and force multiple fumbles in over 20 seasons.
The Hawthorne, Calif., native remains in Los Angeles after playing three seasons (2020-22) at Southern California. He started 28-of-31 career games for the Trojans, totaling 114 tackles (65 solo), 20 sacks, five passes defensed, four forced fumbles and a recovery. Tuipulotu was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2021 after leading the team with 5.5 sacks and also earned Freshman All-America recognition from The Athletic.
Tuipulotu was an All-Area selection as a junior at Lawndale High after posting 95 tackles, nine sacks and 24 tackles for loss to help lead the Cardinals to a CIF state title that season. He is the 25th player drafted by the Chargers out of Southern California, the most out of any school.
Another Southern California native, Henley (first name pronounced DAY-on) ended the 2022 season as a first-team All-Pac-12 selection at linebacker and a second-team selection as an all-purpose/special teams player. His 106 tackles ranked No. 2 in the conference, while his 12 tackles for loss tied for fifth. Henley was a second-team All-American from College Football Newsand was a finalist for the Butkus Award, which annually recognizes college football's best linebacker.
Henley appeared in 62 career games over six combined seasons at Washington State (2022) and Nevada (2017-21), seeing action at linebacker, defensive back and wide receiver. He was named second-team All-Mountain West Conference in his final season at Nevada, leading the team with 103 tackles. Henley graduated from Crenshaw High in Los Angeles, where he earned City MVP honors and helped the Cougars become 2015 Los Angeles Coliseum League Champions.
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