Written By Carolina Panthers
Charlotte, N.C.--The Carolina Panthers have signed 2013 first-round draft choice (14th overall) defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and fourth-round choice (108th overall) guard Edmund Kugbila, the team announced Thursday. Lotulelei and Kugbila join Kawann Short, who signed Wednesday, as Panthers draft choices under contract.
"Star gives us an impactful three-down defensive lineman and Edmund has a lot of natural ability and upside that we will work to develop," general manager Dave Gettleman said. "We look forward to seeing both players contribute to the team."
Lotulelei played in 38 games with 28 starts in three seasons at the University of Utah, earning first-team All-America and first-team All-Pac-12 conference honors as a senior in 2012 after posting a team-leading 11 tackles for loss to go along with five sacks. As a junior in 2011, Lotulelei earned the Morris Trophy, awarded to the best defensive lineman in the Pac-12 Conference. He finished his career at Utah with 107 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and five passes defensed.
Kugbila played in 45 games with 32 starts at Division II Valdosta State. He made 22 starts at right guard and 10 at right tackle, finishing his career with 187 knockdown blocks. He did not allow a sack in his final two seasons at Valdosta State after shifting to right guard as a junior. In his final season at Valdosta State, Kugbila led all NCAA Division II blockers with a 93.8 percent grade for blocking consistency and helped the Blazers win the NCAA Division II national championship.
The Panthers also waived/injured tight end Logan Brock and claimed linebacker Ryan Rau off waivers from Cleveland on Wednesday.