Comfort Zone

An inside contact got Anthony Mims exactly where he wants to be – trying out for someone he knows in an area of the country he loves.

Mims, a 6-0, 195 pound corner at West Virginia, easily projects to the same position at the next level. And with his signing in San Diego, he'll try out under secondary coach Brian Stewart, a personal friend.

"I had offers from Minnesota and Dallas as well," Mims said. "But it was a situation where I had known the defensive backs coach there. I lived there for nine years, and it's just a comfortable position to go into."

Stewart is in his fourth NFL season, and second with the Chargers. Mims and Stewart are both west coast natives, and Mims made the contact via football and his father Ron, who was an All-Pac 8 player at Washington State and is now a high school coach. Ron also coached collegiately at Washington State, Purdue and San Diego State.

Mims has been in his native Los Angeles working out with agent Gary Wichard since WVU's 38-35 win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

Unlike many other WVU signees, Mims graduated last May (Athletic Coaching Education), and so did not need to return to Morgantown. He has instead surrounded himself with other potential NFL players under Wichard, and adhered to a different regiment than under WVU strength coach Mike Barwis.

"I really just worked out for past four and a half months," Mims said. "This is a little bit easier than Mike's workout. Mike has his own thing that is second to none, so there's no comparison. It's just different."

Mims, who has a 42-inch vertical, is one of 15 players to sign with San Diego. The Chargers brought in two other corners, including Syracuse's Steve Gregory. Stewart coached at Syracuse in 2001 after previous collegiate stops at Missouri, San Jose State and Northern Arizona. Mims consistently ranked among the best conditioned Mountaineers, however, and need not worry about Stewart helping a fellow Orange.

Mims, who finished with 29 tackles (22 solo, three for loss) and two pass deflections, will report to the Chargers' three-day mini camp on May 12. He has spoken with former WVU quarterback-turned-NFL-kick returner Rasheed Marshall, who also plays receiver.

"Rasheed and I talked a couple times because he is right up in San Francisco," Mims said. "He just said to get in there and work hard, work in on special teams, and that that's where you will break in."

San Diego went 9-7 this season and missed the playoffs by losing its last two games. One of the team's main needs was at corner, and it took Florida State's Antonio Cromartie with the No. 19 pick. The Chargers have six other corners currently listed on the roster.

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