Applewhite Eager To Tackle New Challenges

Hometown guy Antwan Applewhite took a gamble by forgoing his senior season at San Diego State to declare for the NFL Draft. Some felt he made a mistake by coming out early, and the fact that he went undrafted gives some credence to the criticism. But its also somewhat comforting if during the draft, you have the Chargers calling you letting you know that you have a job if you want it.

After sitting through seven agonizing rounds of selections, Applewhite found himself without a team and, worse, without a job.

But the misery didn't last.

Within hours, the San Diego Chargers - Applewhite's hometown team - dialed him up to request his services.

"Most of the calling started during and throughout the draft," Applewhite said. "When it was over and I was still on the board, they called me and said they wanted me, but didn't have any open picks during the draft."

Obviously it isn't a hard choice to make between Cleveland and San Diego in terms of just daily life, but the weather wasn't the only factor in Antwan's decision to sign with the Chargers over the Browns as an undrafted free agent.

"I made the choice to go with the Chargers for a reason," Applewhite said. "I know they've got a bunch of Pro Bowl defensive guys to learn from, and of course it's nice to stay on the West Coast."

Now the transition from Defensive End to Outside Linebacker is not as easy as some may think. We have already seen a failed experiment with DE Akbar Gbaja-Biamila last season. But Antwan is eager to work hard and learn from guys who have been successful in Shawne Merriman and Shaun Phillips. And with the lack of depth at that position, Applewhite has a nice chance to stick with the team. Hopefully he does.

Read: Applewhite signs on with hometown team

May 24, 2007

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