JACKSONVILLE, FL - JULY 28: Kevin Haslam #72 of the Jacksonville Jaguars drinks water during training camp at Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields on July 28, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Chargers announced Saturday that tackle Kevin Haslam has been signed to fill the spot vacated by Jared Gaither.
Gaither was placed on “Injure-Reserve” on Friday after a tumultuous and unproductive season with the Bolts.
While Haslam hasn’t made an NFL name for himself yet, the New Jersey native has been brushing pads with names Chargers’ fans are exceedingly familiar with since his college years at Rutgers University.
He was recruited and coached by Greg Schiano, now the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach. The team that beat the Bolts two weeks ago in Tampa.
He was relatively under-recruited out of high school, partially because he only weighed in at about 200 pounds his senior year. Originally he committed to South Florida, but at the last second made his final commitment to Rutgers.
He was a dual-athlete in high school, playing basketball and football.
He said that was part of the reason he was 6-foot-5 and only about 200 pounds.
“I played basketball,” Haslam said in a 2010 interview with Patriots Daily. “So every time basketball season came around, I lost weight. So my senior year, I was like 230 during football season, then at basketball I got down to 195.”
He is currently 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds.
Also in his 2005 recruiting class was Ray Rice, Ravens running back. This Sunday will be the first time the two have been on the same field since Rice left Rutgers after three years to participate in the NFL Draft.
Haslam entered the NFL in 2010 as undrafted rookie with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He spent two seasons there and played in five games as a rookie. At the end of the 2011 training camp, Haslam suffered a knee injury and was on the “Reserve-Injured” list. The Jaguars waived him in March 2012 and he then signed with the Raiders in May. At the end of the 2012 training camp he was waived by Oakland and has finally landed in San Diego.
Just in time to take on his former teammate Rice.
The newly put together Chargers’ offensive line, including Haslam wearing number 70, along with the rest of the team, will take on the Ravens at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.