SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Former Cal Poly linebacker Nick Dzubnar led the National Football League in special team tackles during the 2017 season, according to teamrankings.com.
Playing in 13 of the Los Angeles Chargers' 16 games one year after missing a dozen contests due to a knee injury, Dzubnar earned 21 total tackles on special teams, edging teammate Austin Ekeler by four stops for the top honor.
One of two ex-Mustangs to play in the NFL this year, Dzubnar made 14 solo stops and seven assisted tackles. The 14 solo tackles are No. 2 in the league while the seven assisted stops are No. 1.
In 33 career games, Dzubnar has made 42 total tackles, including 30 solo stops.
Cornerback Asa Jackson's sixth season in the NFL was cut short by a hamstring injury. After making three tackles on special teams in four games, the San Francisco 49ers placed Jackson on injured reserve on Oct. 10, ending his year.
Now a free agent, Jackson has made 38 tackles in 26 career NFL games, including 28 stops in 2014 with the Baltimore Ravens. He also has four career pass breakups to his credit.
Jackson played with the Ravens from 2012-15, played four games toward the end of the 2016 campaign with the Detroit Lions and four contests with the 49ers this fall.
Dzubnar signed an undrafted free agent contract with the then-San Diego Chargers shortly after the 2015 NFL Draft ended. The Mission Viejo High School graduate was a first-team All-Big Sky Conference selection as a senior at Cal Poly in 2014 and also earned All-America honors from five media organizations after shattering the school record for tackles in a single season with 167.
An outside linebacker as a freshman and sophomore before moving to the middle in 2013, Dzubnar also led the Mustangs in tackles as a sophomore (107) and junior (112), becoming the second Mustang in the school's 21-year Division I history to record over 100 tackles three times. Jordan Beck was the other. Dzubnar played in all 47 games following his redshirt year in 2010, including 38 consecutive starts.
Dzubnar notched 18 career games with double-digit tackles, including a career-high 19 against South Dakota State in 2013, and finished with 414 career tackles, No. 2 all-time at the university. Dzubnar's career totals also include 24.0 tackles for lost yardage, 4.0 sacks, seven forced fumbles, five interceptions and 15 pass breakups.
A fifth-round (169th overall) selection by Baltimore in the 2012 NFL Draft, Jackson was a four-time first-team All-Great West Conference honoree from 2008-11 at Cal Poly, including Freshman Player of the Year honors in 2008. Jackson notched 199 tackles in four seasons with the Mustangs along with eight interceptions (two in each season) and 32 pass breakups.
In his senior campaign, Jackson had 54 tackles (31 solo) with two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns, and seven pass breakups. He is a Sacramento native and Christian Brothers High School graduate.