Oaks Christian School alumni Zach Charbonnet (Class of 2019) has been drafted as the 52nd overall pick in the second round of the National Football League draft by the Seattle Seahawks, the third running back taken in the draft. Charbonnet was an OCS running back, and played at both the University of Michigan and the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the eighth Lion all-time to be selected in the NFL draft. This also marks the second year in a row that a Lion was selected in the draft, as Kayvon Thibodeaux (Class of 2019) was selected fifth overall last year. Charbonnet joins Colby Parkinson (Class of 2017) and Cassius Marsh (Class of 2014) as former Lions who have played for, or currently play with the Seahawks. Parkinson was drafted by the Seahawks in 2020, while Marsh was drafted in 2014, and has played for eight teams over his eight-year NFL career.
Charbonnet joins Thibodeaux, Jimmy Clausen (Class of 2010 – Carolina Panthers), Casey Matthews (Class of 2011 – Philadelphia Eagles), Marsh, Jordan Payton (Class of 2016 – Cleveland Browns), Michael Pittman Jr. (Class of 2016 -Indianapolis Colts) and Parkinson as Lions who have been drafted into the NFL.
“Zach is the epitome of an Oaks Christian student-athlete,” said Oaks Christian Head Football Coach Charlie Collins. “He is humble, he works harder than anyone else in the room, and is going to change the culture of the Seahawks running back room. (Head Coach) Pete Carrol didn’t just get an outstanding player; he got an outstanding human being.”
Charbonnet was one of the best running backs in Oaks Christian history. He ranks fourth in career rushing yards, with 4,741. He is third all-time in single-season rushing yards, going for 2,049 in 2017. His 271-yard game against St. Bonaventure in 2017 ranks him 10th all-time in single-game rushing yards. Charbonnet is fifth all time in career touchdowns, finding the end zone 48 times in his four years at Oaks Christian.
Following his career at Oaks Christian, Charbonnet started his collegiate career at the University of Michigan. For the Wolverines, he ran for 850 yards over 168 carries, scoring 12 touchdowns. He then transferred to UCLA for his final two years, where he took off. He appeared in 22 games for the Bruins over two years, rushing for 2,496 yards on 398 carries. In his senior year, he led the nation in all-purpose yards per game with 168.0, and led the PAC-12 in yards per carry (6.97). His 15 rushing touchdowns ranked 16th in the nation, and he became the ninth Bruin to record back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons. He was named a first team All-American by the Football Writers Association, and a second team All-American by CBAS, the Associated Press, Pro Football Focus and The Sporting News.
Following the draft, two other Lions were offered invites to minicamp by teams. Shea Pitts. Class of 2017, was invited to minicamp by the Tennessee Titans as a linebacker. Bo Calvert. Class of 2018, was invited to minicamp by the Denver Broncos, also as a linebacker.