Chuck Osborne, a defensive star at Canyon High School who went on to play for the St. Louis Rams in the NFL, was found dead in his home in La Jolla on Tuesday. He was 38.
Osborne played for Canyon coach Harry Welch in high school and at the University of Arizona in college. He was a seventh-round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams in 1996.
He led Arizona in sacks with 11 in the 1994 season. Had recorded 21 sacks in his college career and was No. 10 in sacks at Arizona.
Osborne was an all-state selection at Canyon in his senior season. He was an All Pac-10 selection at defensive tackle in his senior season at Arizona.
After his rookie season with the Rams, Osborne played professionally in NFL Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals. He returned to the NFL and played for the Oakland Raiders before being traded to the Green Bay Packers and ended his career with the New England Patriots. He played 37 games in the NFL
Canyon football coach Rich Gutierrez, who played against Osborne when he was at Saugus High, said Osborne was a tenacious player.
“It’s a devastating loss to the Canyon community,” said Gutierrez, who graduated from high school the same year as Osborne. “I know he was extremely close to Coach Welch.”
Gutierrez said Osborne returned to watch several of Canyon’s games when his NFL career was over. Osborne was at the CIF State Bowl game against Concord De La Salle in 2006 and watched Canyon beat the top-ranked team in the state.
“Chuck was always around,” Gutierrez said. “Chuck was such an exceptional player. His grittiness was a staple of the program.”
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