Sept. 3, 2006
Clemson, SC – Clemson senior linebacker Anthony Waters, the Tigers top tackler in 2005 and the ACC’s top returning tackler for 2006, suffered a torn ACL during Clemson’s 54-6 victory over Florida Atlantic on Saturday and will be lost for the season.
An MRI revealed that Waters has a torn ACL and he will have surgery sometime within the next three weeks. Waters is a fifth year senior who does not have another year of eligibility.
In January Waters had contemplated turning professional, but decided to return to Clemson and finish requirements towards his degree. He is finished with his class work and only needs to complete an internship to receive his degree in December.
“This is certainly a major loss for our football team,” said Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden. “We have now lost two starting linebackers (Tramaine Billie is the other). “Anthony is a terrific player. I am confident we will have players who will respond. But we can’t replace his leadership, experience and intensity. Everyone knows how hard he has worked in preparation for his senior year.He will come back from this. His career as a football player is not over.”
Waters led Clemson in tackles in 2005 with 109, including 13.5 tackles for loss and one sack. He added seven passes broken up. The native of Lake View, SC was listed as a first-team preseason All-American by Phil Steele, a second-team All-American by Street & Smith and The Sporting News.
He was also listed on the preseason award list for the Bronko Nagurski Award and the Butkus Award. He was ranked as the #2 linebacker in the nation by Phil Steele and the #6 linebacker in the nation by Scout.com entering the 2006 season.
“This is difficult to accept with this being my senior year,” said Waters on Sunday afternoon. “I will just have to do whatever I can to help this team from the sidelines from a leadership standpoint this year. “Many players have come back from this injury to play again. I look at some of my current teammates who have gone through this injury (Donnell Clark), and see players from other ACC schools, like Antonio Cromartie (Florida State) who overcame the same injury to become a first-round draft choice just last year.
“I am just leaving everything in God’s hands at this point.”
Head Coach Tommy Bowden said the starting guard Roman Fry (sprained knee), starting guard Nathan Bennett (sprained ankle) and defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson (sprained knee) had also suffered injuries against Florida Atlantic and are listed as questionable at this point for the Boston College game.
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