Jim Harbaugh has rave reviews for Chargers sophomore (and it's not who you'd expect)

Los Angeles Chargers OTA Offseason Workout
Los Angeles Chargers OTA Offseason Workout / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

The LA Chargers are officially on summer break after offseason OTAs and mandatory minicamp. The workouts during these two weeks gave Chargers fans a sneak peek at what the team might look like in 2024 and the excitement is through the roof.

Nothing but great things has been said about this Chargers coaching staff, which is a welcomed change from the circus that followed the team last season. Hiring Jim Harbaugh was the move of the offseason, and it already looks like it is paying dividends.

Harbaugh has received immense praise from current (and former) Chargers alike and he is no stranger to dishing out compliments to his players. Sometimes these compliments come as a surprise, though, as Harbaugh has circled some surprising players who he is high on ahead of 2024. The latest example is second-year defensive lineman, Scott Matlock (h/t Eric Smith, Chargers.com).

"'He's just all about his business, all about the work, all about the team,' Harbaugh said about Matlock during his media availability last Thursday. 'A lot of what he does, like a lot of leaders, it's not about what they say, it's about what they do. What you do speaks so loudly that you can't even hear what you're saying.'"

Jim Harbaugh singles out Scott Matlock as a leader on the Chargers

Chargers fans who are familiar with Matlock and his personality probably could have predicted that he would mesh well with Harbaugh. That being said, it is still exceptional that a second-year sixth-round pick is getting this kind of feedback from his new head coach.

There are several other second-year players who fans would love to hear this about, most notably wide receiver Quentin Johnston. Instead, it is the sixth-rounder from BYU who has made the most out of his first impression with his new head coach.

Matlock finished last season with 15 tackles (one for a loss) in 12 games played. He played a total of 266 defensive snaps as a rotational interior defensive lineman. Heading into his sophomore year, Matlock was projected to be a fringe, depth interior defensive lineman.

After Harbaugh's ringing endorsement, it is fair to say that Matlock may actually play a bigger role for the Chargers than expected in his sophomore year.

The early-down interior defensive line spots, especially at nose tackle, are wide open heading into training camp. Los Angeles has quite the pass-rushing group the team can utilize with Morgan Fox and Tuli Tuipulotu potentially kicking inside. But there is opportunity in early downs when teams are going to run the football. That is where Matlock can fit in.

Matlock still has to go out and earn all of the snaps he will get from defensive coordinator Jesse Minter. As a sixth-round pick in his second season it is an uphill battle for Matlock to secure that playing time. But thankfully for him, he may already be one step ahead.