Reunion between coach and recruit will be a unique one
LARAMIE -- Sean Chambers said he'll share a moment after the final whistle with the man who helped bring him to Laramie.
The 60 minutes prior, however, the reunion between Wyoming's quarterback and Montana State head coach Brent Vigen will be on hold.
"When game time starts, it's all about business," Chambers said.
Vigen, the Cowboys' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach over the previous seven seasons, targeted the 6-foot-3, 225-pound signal caller out of Kerman High School in the Central Valley of California in 2018. Chambers was a three-star recruit. 247 Sports also named him the No. 44 dual-threat quarterback in the country.
It's no secret why.
Chambers put together three straight prep seasons of more than 1,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing. As a senior, he eclipsed 1,600 in both categories. He scored an eye-popping 95 career touchdowns for the Lions.
The redshirt sophomore was recruited by Power-5 programs Colorado and Rutgers. Mountain West schools like Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawai'i and San José State were also in the mix.
It was Vigen's vision that convinced Chambers Laramie was the place for him. Didn't hurt that another QB 28 miles down the road in Firebaugh, Calif., was just selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. That, of course, was Josh Allen.
"Well, he's a tremendous runner," Vigen told the local media Wednesday afternoon. "I think that's where it kind of started. He's very athletic and he's a tremendous leader. He was able to be a leader unlike any true freshman, I guess, I've ever been around."
"He recruited me and gave me a chance coming out of high school," Chambers said. "So, I'm forever grateful for that."
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It took just eight weeks for the then-true freshman to find himself in the huddle inside War Memorial Stadium. On the Cowboys' third possession of a late October tilt with rival Utah State, Chambers took his first collegiate snap. It was a modest three-yard gain.
His second play was another scramble, only this time he fumbled the ball, handing the Aggies the ball inside the Wyoming 30.
Despite that mishap, Chambers was reinserted into the lineup early in the second half, replacing Tyler Vander Waal, who tossed an interception on the Team's first possession. USU would capitalize one play later and take a commanding 17-3 lead.
Chambers went on to complete 3 of 5 throws and rush for 100 yards on 19 carries.
Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl sent Vander Waal back into the game with 2:02 left on the clock and the ball at UW's 25. The Cowboys' trailed 24-16. Four plays -- and zero yards later -- they lost by that same score.
The job belonged to Chambers for the remainder of the season.
Since, he has thrown for 1,187 yards and rushed for an additional 894. Chambers has accounted for 22 touchdowns and has thrown just three interceptions. Most importantly, he's 9-4 as a starter.
That's the good news.
Chambers has also suffered three consecutive season-ending leg injuries. In 2020, he was twisted to the ground on the third play from scrimmage at Nevada. He hasn't taken a snap since.
Vigen said the gains Chambers made between the end of 2019 and the beginning of the 2020 campaign were significant. He's also certain that his former quarterback has prepared to get right back to that place.
"He's a developing passer," he said. "... He's becoming more and more complete, where it doesn't have to be all about his ability to run the football. Sean is a tremendous talent and a tremendous leader. He has a fair amount of experience, even though each one of these last three seasons have been cut short."
Bohl announced last Monday, for the third consecutive season, Chambers will be under center for the Cowboys' season opener.
Admittedly, he didn't take much time to celebrate the feat. He knows how quickly it can vanish. Though his focus is on making reads, guiding Wyoming's offense and ultimately walking off the field with a victory, Chambers can't deny this opener has a different feeling to it.
"It's going to be pretty neat," he said. "Going out there, seeing him before the game, it's going to be pretty unique."
Kickoff in Laramie is scheduled for 2 p.m.
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players