Chargers sign intriguing linebacker who Jim Harbaugh coached against at Michigan

Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh As Head Coach
Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh As Head Coach / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The LA Chargers' 2024 schedule is currently all the rage and it has distracted from rookie minicamp this past week. Chargers fans got their first look at first-round pick Joe Alt and second-round choice Ladd McConkey, but it was third-round linebacker Junior Colson who arguably left the strongest impression on Jim Harbaugh and his staff.

Colson's experience in Harbaugh's system at Michigan is already paying off. Per the Chargers' head coach, Colson is already calling plays on defense. The former Wolverine is also ordering teammates where to be on the field. It's not often that rookies show that much poise and leadership this early into their careers.

While Colson is already turning heads, another rookie defender stole the show at minicamp, but not one that the Chargers drafted. The team announced it has signed outside linebacker Chris Collins to an official roster spot. Fellow OLB Brevin Allen was waived in a corresponding move.

Chargers new signing Chris Collins played against Jim Harbaugh at Michigan

An undrafted free agent this year, Collins was invited to Chargers camp. There's some familiarity between Harbaugh, defensive coordinator Jesse Minter and Collins. Harbaugh and Minter saw plenty of Collins last season in the Big Ten. After five years at North Carolina, Collins transferred to Minnesota for the 2023 season.

Collins helped the Golden Gophers win a bowl game. For his college career, he accumulated 86 tackles, 6.5 sacks and an interception.

At 6-5 and 255 pounds, Collins played almost exclusively at defensive end for the Golden Gophers. It stands to reason that's where he'll play for the Chargers. He joins a crowded DE room that already featured Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa and Tuli Tuipulotu, and just added accomplished veteran Bud Dupree this week.

Collins will face long odds to make the 53-man roster, but he has the benefit of playing against Harbaugh and his all-important first impression was a strong one. He'll compete with the likes of Chris Rumph, Andrew Farmer II, Ty Shelby and rookies Savion Jackson and Tre'mon Morris-Brash.