It was reported much earlier, but unlike B.J. Finney and Jake Waters, actual confirmation was a bit tougher to come by. We can now report, however, that Ryan Mueller has agreed to a free-agent deal with the San Diego Chargers.
Couldn't be happier about the opportunity...Chargers— Ryan Mueller (@R_Mueller44) May 3, 2015
Mueller is yet another walk-on to use Kansas State as a path to the NFL. Mueller broke out as a star in his junior season, notching 11.5 sacks on the way to earning the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year honor, a first team All-Big 12 nod, and second team All-American recognition from Sports Illustrated. Prospects were high, but his senior season wasn't as phenomenal. He repeated as first team All-Big 12, but defenses were onto him in 2015. Mueller repeatedly faced double-teams throughout the season, and as a result didn't put up the numbers he had as a junior, although he did still manage 6.5 sacks.
Pro scouts, of course, recognized the reason for his dropoff, and weren't soured by it. And now Mueller is the twelfth Wildcat to take his game to San Diego, a place where Kansas State offensive linemen have flourished -- Kendyl Jacoz, Jeromey Clary, and Damion McIntosh all had significant careers at Mission Bay. Another high-motor Wildcat defender also started his NFL career in San Diego: Ben Leber.
Interestingly, Mueller's signing is listed as "LB/FB", indicating an almost certain position move for Ryan, who indicated previously in a conversation with our own Luke Thompson that it's something he's perfectly okay with. Anything to help the team, after all.
Be sure to stop by and visit our friends at Bolts From the Blue to see what they've got to say about their newest additions.