Inside Job: Bolts meet with fiery linebacker

The San Diego Chargers have spent the last four years preparing Stephen Cooper and Matt Wilhelm for the starting roles they will assume this season. Problem is, someone must replace the depth and special teams contributions that duo had been providing. To that end, the Chargers have arranged a pre-draft visit with an inside linebacker who could be a day-two steal.

SDBoltReport.com has confirmed that Clemson linebacker Anthony Waters (6-foot-3, 242 lbs.) will visit with the Chargers before the NFL Draft. As a starter in 2004 and 2005, he posted 179 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for a loss and eight pass break-ups during that span.

Waters missed the 2006 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee during the season opener. He recently ran a 4.62 40-yard dash in front of 18 scouts – his first timed 40-yard since the injury.

"There was a time I thought about, ‘Oh, I'm hurt. What am I going to do?'" Waters said. "And the conclusion (I came to) was the only way this injury can get to me is if I let it get to me."

Rather than sulking, he worked diligently to get himself ready to workout prior to the draft. He expects to be 100 percent healthy in time for the 2007 season.

A classic run-stuffer, Waters effortlessly fights off blocks and is a technically sound tackler. He is explosive when playing downhill and has shown the ability to knock down passes in coverage.

Although he can look stiff in space and too often runs himself out of plays, his fiery brand of leadership more than compensates for those shortcomings.

"I like to try to play the way that Ray Lewis, Shawne Merriman and some of those guys play, with the intensity that they bring to the games," Waters said.

In San Diego, Waters would serve as the team's fourth inside linebacker. He has some experience at outside linebacker, too, and could see time there in a pinch.

In addition to replenishing the depth lost with the elevations of Cooper and Wilhelm, he would also be an asset on special teams.

Waters also has visits setup with the Dallas Cowboys, St. Louis Rams and New York Jets.


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