"I talked to (Ron) Rivera with the Chargers. I'm kind of close with him," Follett said. "He's a Cal guy and said he'll call me up when he is up at Cal so we can talk more."
The Cal coaches have spoken with Rivera about the 3-4 defense. Rivera will visit Cal on March 6 to meet with Follett and the Cal defensive staff.
Follett increased his draft stock with a great senior season in which he posted 87 tackles, 23 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks. He led the PAC-10 in tackles for loss.
LB Zack Follett
"Once the 3-4 came in, we had under-fronts where I would become the fourth rusher and could use my speed to get out around the tackles, allowing me to cause a lot of havoc in the backfield," he said. "That was my job, and I think that all of my years at Cal prepared me for that last year."
Playing in the PAC-10, Follett met up with some great linebackers. The USC trio of Rey Maualuga, Brian Cushing and Clay Matthews was the subject of a lot of press last season.
"Oh man, they are great linebackers," Follett said. "You can't take anything away from them. They all play off of each other really well. Rey holds down the middle; Cushing brings the energy off the edge; and Clay, he's pretty underrated, but he's a good linebacker."
The USC linebackers all had impressive seasons and posted great numbers, but Follett doesn't feel they are out of his league.
Follett is known around the PAC-10 for his punishing hits. An all-around player, he sheds blockers well, rushes the passer and attacks the run.
"You look at their physical attributes and they are beasts," he said of the USC studs. "But if you look at it on paper and what happens on the field, the linebackers at Cal, myself included, we kind of killed them in a stats competition, and we are playing against the exact same teams," he said. "Now, we switched to a 3-4 so my position could be a little more active and that helped juice the stats, but I don't think we get as much respect as we deserve."
Follett has many positive attributes, but there are some drawbacks. The Chargers' primary concern is his size, as he's much smaller than the typical 3-4 linebacker.
Another worry is his injury history. Follett has suffered shoulder injuries that may cause some teams to shy away from him. However, he doesn't feel that they will affect him in the future.
"I've had two shoulder surgeries, but I didn't miss any game time," he said. "In 2007, I had a neck stinger that sidelined me for two games, but those were the only games I missed during my career. My body's tolerance for pain is pretty high."
If the Chargers are satisfied with his medical history, they may be willing to overlook his smaller stature. Another option is moving him to middle linebacker, which is what his body type is better suited for.
Follett played some middle linebacker at the Senior Bowl and -- while he is not used to that spot -- he was anxious to show he could adapt.
"For me, since they asked me to play middle linebacker instead of outside, I wasn't as comfortable at my position, but I just went in there and did the best I could," he said. "I knew that they wanted to know that I can play inside, so I was glad to show them that I was willing to play wherever they need me."
To read Follett's post-Senior Bowl interview with SDBoltReport.com, click here.