Waters Tears ACL; Out for the Year

Clemson University announced Sunday afternoon that starting MIKE LB Anthony Waters has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of his senior season.

Head coach Tommy Bowden said that he and his staff are evaluating what to do for next week's game against Boston College.

"That's what we are doing right now with a staff meeting," Bowden said. "We'll have one before practice tomorrow."

One of the primary options being considered is moving Antonio Clay to the inside, but even with that move, the Tigers' defense loses one of its best players and emotional leaders.

"He's an experienced guy," he said. "He's got all those intangibles, you kind of wipe out. He's been the vocal leader for this defense. We've got other good players but you lose some things you can't replace.

"He invested so much time and effort to play. I'm disappointed about that as much as anything else."

The loss is especially painful for Waters, who elected to return for his senior season instead of opting for the NFL Draft. Still, Bowden said Waters has plenty of time to get ready for his professional career.

"The corner at Florida State, Cromartie, got hurt his senior and was a No. 1 draft pick," he said.

Bowden also said he can't recall having a season where two key players were lost this early in the season. Clemson also lost linebacker Tramaine Billie during the preseason to a broken ankle.

"If you would have asked me who can't we lose on defense this year I would have said Gaines Adams, Waters and Billie," he said. "So we've lost two of three. All of those guys have started and have experience. Defenses are keys to championship seasons as I've said a thousand times."

Waters, who redshirted his freshman year, would also be unlikely to receive a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.

Clemson Sports Information Director Tim Bourret said Sunday that the injury usually has to occur before the start of the season in order for a player to receive that sixth year.

Waters entered his senior year as one of the top middle linebacker prospects in the country.

Originally out of Lake View, S.C., Waters has been a starter at linebacker for Clemson each of the last two years. He had 109 tackles in 2005, helping Clemson to a top 25 final ranking in the AP and USA Today Coaches polls. He also had 13.5 tackles for loss to rank second on the team.

QUICK HITS: Guard Roman Fry (sprained knee) and guard Nathan Bennett (sprained ankle) were both hurt against Florida Atlantic and "didn't play much," according to Bowden. DT Rashaad Jackson also played just four plays. All three players are listed as questionable for the Boston College game Saturday. ... Bowden said Chris Capote, Thomas Austin, Antwan Murchison and Barry Humphries were some of the young players that stood out to him Saturday.

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