It didn't take long for the Los Angeles Chargers to find themselves a Trojan in the 2018 NFL Draft.
One year ago, linebacker Uchenna Nwosu showcased his skills at USC's Pro Day – an event on the draft calendar that ultimately contributed to him being selected by LA in the second round. On Wednesday, Nwosu was back on campus to support several of his former teammates with pro aspirations of their own.
Going through this process so recently, Nwosu was tuned into the high-stakes nature of the day.
"People think the [pro day] isn't going to be as difficult because you're out here after the combine, but it's a lot of work," he said. "You've got to come out here and prove yourself in front of all these coaching staffs. … They came here for a reason, so you've got to come out and show."
The Trojans boast several defenders who have high expectations come draft day. Nwosu spent some time watching "smooth" and "prepared" linebackers Cameron Smith and Porter Gustin go through defensive drills.
Smith and Gustin were both second-team All-Pac-12 selections in 2018, and both noted how Nwosu has been a resource for them during this period of uncertainty.
"I called Chenna a couple times and asked him just what the process was like going to the combine and how that was," said Gustin. "[I asked him] what kind of drills they've been doing at pro day and just little things. So, he's kind of helped me along with that, and that's been helpful."
USC alum Uchenna Nwosu paid a visit to USC's Pro Day along with the Bolts' front office staff to take a deeper look at 2019 prospects.
Smith said he's talked to Nwosu quite a bit and was pleased to see his former teammate produce the way he did in his rookie season with the Chargers.
"You're just proud of guys like that," he said.
Nwosu wrapped the day by watching the defensive backs attempt to leave a lasting impression on NFL coaches and scouts. He proudly rattled off the names of his former teammates in the secondary and complemented their performances. Cornerback Iman Marshall – another second-team All-Pac-12 selection – felt the love.
"It's a blessing to see those dudes come back and support us as we're going through this whole process," he said.
Jake Olson Benches for Worthy Cause
In advance of USC's Pro Day, long snapper Jake Olson started a fundraiser to wipe out a form of eye cancer that took his sight at 12 years old. "Jake Olson's Reps for Retinoblastoma" encouraged people to pledge a dollar amount for each bench press rep of 225 pounds that Olson put up on Wednesday.
Olson did 17 reps.
As of Wednesday evening, Olson has raised over $48,000 – over $2,800 per rep. There is still plenty of time to donate, so visit pledgeit.org/jake to support Olson's cause and learn more about his inspiring story.
Chargers attend UCLA Pro Day
Head Coach Anthony Lynn and Chargers scouts were on hand for UCLA's Pro Day on Wednesday in Westwood.
Eight Bruin prospects worked out for NFL teams, including combine participants OT Andre James and TE Caleb Wilson. Prospects from the University of Hawaii and Azusa Pacific University were also in attendance.
James started 32 consecutive games at either right or left tackle to close his career at UCLA. He's former linemates with Chargers center Scott Quessenberry, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Wilson, a former walk-on at USC, earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2018 after catching 60 balls for 965 yards and four touchdowns. His former tight ends coach at UCLA is Rip Scherer, who currently holds the same title with the Chargers.
The Bolts' coaching and front office staff attended UCLA's Pro Day to take a deeper look at 2019 prospects.