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5 Things to Know About New Chargers OLB Tuli Tuipulotu

AP Photo/Michael Conroy
AP Photo/Michael Conroy

The Chargers added to their defense by taking Tuli Tuipulotu in the second round (No. 54 overall) of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Here are five things to know about the edge rusher:

1. Staying in California

Tuipulotu won't have to go very far to continue his football career.

The Chargers second-round pick will stay in Southern California, where he played his collegiate football at USC.

And he didn't go very far to go to college either, as he grew up in Hawthorne and playing football at Lawndale High School.

2. A decorated player at USC

In just three years at USC, Tuipulotu was as productive as anyone at the collegiate level.

The newest member of the Bolts improved each of his years in college, finishing with a career total of 21 sacks and 32 tackles for loss. From the moment he stepped in as a first-year defensive lineman, he became a force on the Trojans defense.

Tuipulotu finished his collegiate career with two First-Team All-Pac-12 selections and was a 2022 unanimous All-American, while also being named as the 2022 Polynesian College Football Player of the Year.

Take a look through some photos of the Chargers 2023 second-round Draft pick, Edge Tuli Tuipulotu from USC.

3. Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year

Tuipulotu capped off his final season at USC with one of the most impressive seasons in the nation.

Enroute to a unanimous All-American selection, Tuipulotu racked up 13.5 sacks and 22 total tackles for loss in 2022, earning him the 2022 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year award given to the best defensive player in the Pac-12 Conference.

His 13.5 sacks were good for most in the country, while his 22 tackles for loss were second-most.

The edge rusher joins the Chargers as one of the most productive players in college football in 2022.

4. Joining family in the NFL

Tuipulotu isn't the only member of his family in the NFL.

With the newest Charger getting drafted into the league, he joins his older brother Marlon and cousin Talanoa Hufanga in the NFL. Both Marlon, who is a defensive lineman for the Eagles, and Hufanga, an All-Pro safety for the 49ers, came into the league in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Once all together on the same defense at USC, Tuipulotu joins his family members in the pros.

5. Plenty of HS accolades

After spending his freshman year of high school in Oregon, Tuipulotu returned to California and dominated the high school ranks at Lawndale High School.

Beginning in his sophomore season, Tuipulotu made a name for himself as one of the best edge rushers in the state of California. As a junior, he helped lead his school to the 2018 Division 5 state championship, finishing up his senior year of high school earning Third-Team All-State and First-Team All-Conference honors.

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