Linebacker prospect to visit Chargers

The San Diego Chargers don't appear to be interested in re-signing Zeke Moreno, an unrestricted free agent. While it is true they re-signed Carlos Polk, Randall Godfrey may move on after this year and the team is seeking depth throughout. It really isn't a surprise that they will host one for a personal visit. What may be surprising is who it is.

The Bolts are going back to the well – the one that unearthed recently re-signed Jacques Cesaire. South Connecticut State is the place and Sarth Benoit is the player.

Benoit led the Owl program in tackles with 73 and tackles for a loss with 13, while adding three sacks, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.

A former member of the now defunct New Haven Chargers, where ex-Bolt Phil Bogle hailed from, Benoit checks in at 6-foot-2 and 253-pounds. Benoit received All-American consideration while at New Haven and was one of seven players to be swallowed up by Southern Connecticut State.

A Division-II all-star, Benoit got a chance to impress scouts at the Cactus Bowl. A member of the 2004 Northeast-10 Football All-Conference First Team, Benoit added two interceptions, one which he returned for a touchdown, as a senior.

Benoit, a graduate of Albertus Magnus High School, has received attention from NFL scouts throughout the year. Known as a workout warrior, Benoit had his Pro Day on March 25.

As expected, Benoit showed his strength when he churned out 28 reps on the bench press. He also ran a pair of forties at 4.63 and 4.70, had a vertical jump of 35.6 and a broad jump of 9-foot-11.

The Bolts are anxious to bring in another developmental linebacker to learn behind Randall Godfrey and Donnie Edwards on the inside. It is conceivable that they will also look for another outside linebacker if one falls to them. With Stephen Cooper backing up Edwards and Godfrey, the team is seeking depth. Carlos Polk provides some, but he isn't seen as an every down linebacker, rather someone who can play in short yardage situations and excel at special teams.

Benoit has been tagged by experts as a player who could come off the draft boards in the fifth or sixth round, would seem to be the type of player with upside the Chargers desire.

The first step is the personal visit but there is competition for his services. Besides the Chargers, Benoit has a personal visit scheduled with the Browns, Giants and Rams setup.

It could be that these teams simply don't know enough about the Southern Connecticut State product and want to make sure they do their checks and balances before investing in him come draft time. After all, Benoit counts against the twenty players each team is allowed to bring in prior to the Draft.

Smoke and mirrors only goes so far, however, and bringing a prospect in expresses real interest.


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