2nd Generation in LA: These Los Angeles Chargers Stars Have Fathers Who Were Football Greats

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While it isn’t all that uncommon for sons to follow in their father’s professional footsteps, doing so as a world-class athlete adds a high bar to achieve for NFL sons. There have been fewer than 150 National Football League players whose fathers also played professional football in the NFL or any league that merged with it.

It just so happens that the Los Angeles Chargers have three second-generation NFL players on their roster. A look at the players and their fathers.

Los Angeles Chargers Legacy Players

Asante Samuel & Asante Samuel Jr.

NFL: AFC Championship-San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots
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After playing cornerback for the UCF, Asante Samuel was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL draft. Samuel also played for the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons. He led the NFL twice in interceptions, in 2006 and 2009, and is considered one of the all-time greatest Patriots and cornerbacks. He won two Super Bowl rings while with the Patriots. Samuel was voted to the first team All-Pro in 2007 and made four Pro Bowls.

His son, Asante Samuel Jr. was born in 1999. Coming out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Samuel Junior was a 4-star cornerback. He attended Florida State before he was drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Chargers in 2021. Samuel Jr. was a Week 1 starter as a rookie. In three seasons has 41 passes defended and nine interceptions, this includes the 2022 Wild Card playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in which Samuel intercepted three Trevor Lawrence passes.

John & Joe Alt

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John Alt played his entire 12-season NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1984 to 1996, where he was drafted in the first round out of Iowa. The offensive tackle made two Pro Bowls and second-team All-Pro in 1990.

Joe Alt was also selected in the first round but by the Chiefs’ divisional rival, the Los Angeles Chargers in 2024. Joe was twice named first-team All-American, unanimously in 2023, for his efforts playing offensive line for Notre Dame. John coached Joe, while he attended Totino-Grace High School North of Minneapolis. Joe stands to play a large role in the Chargers’ offense under new head coach, Jim Harbaugh

John’s older son was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes in 2010.

Jerry & Brenden Rice

It’s common for Jerry Rice‘s introduction to be simply the greatest of all time. It’s hard to argue with that. He holds nearly every major receiving record. He has three Super Bowl rings, a gold jacket, 10 All-Pro selections, and 13 Pro Bowls to show for his efforts.

Brenden Rice was drafted by the Chargers in 2023 in the 7th round. Brenden had a breakout senior season for USC before being drafted. In 2023, he caught 37 passes for 644 yards and 11 touchdowns. Brenden joins a young and inexperienced Los Angeles Chargers wide receivers room in 2024.

NFL: NFL Draft Los Angeles Chargers
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports