The Central Valley kid looking to knock off hometown team
LARAMIE -- Sean Chambers wouldn't call himself a diehard Fresno State fan when he was growing up, but he was in the stands for the 2013 Mountain West Championship game.
Derek Carr claimed MVP honors that night after torching Utah State for 403 yards through the air and three touchdown passes in Fresno State's 24-17 victory.
The raucous atmosphere. The star players. The outcome. Those will always stick with Chambers.
"I definitely went to their games when they had Davante Adams and Carr," said Chambers, who grew up in Kerman, Calif., just 15 minutes west of Fresno. "It's all coming back to me. Carr was like the most famous man in Fresno. He was super good and it was pretty cool seeing him play.
"Staying the Valley was a big deal for Fresno State fans."
Carr, a Fresno native, did just that. Chambers didn't.
That answer is simple -- Craig Bohl called first.
"They did extend an offer," Chambers said of Fresno State. "I was committed to Wyoming at the time and had my heart set on it. I stayed committed to my decision."
Bohl, for one, is thankful for that.
Chambers is 13-4 as a starter in Laramie and has proven to be the unquestioned leader of the program. The 6-foot-3, 224-pound redshirt sophomore has also thrown for 2,080 yards and 16 touchdowns to go along with 1,005 rushing yards and 15 more scores.
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Kalen DeBoer, who was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2018 when Fresno State recruited Chambers, said he's followed him throughout his career in Laramie. He likes the way he keeps plays alive. He's been impressed with Chambers' improvisation skills. DeBoer is not surprised with the running ability.
"There's different ways that he's getting it done," DeBoer said. "You can see his development and his growth as a player.
"... He's doing a nice job leading the football team. You know, they're 4-1 for a reason."
Chambers has been every bit the hard-nosed signal caller Bohl envisioned when he first travelled to watch him play at Kerman High School. That aspect of Chambers' game reminded Bohl of another quarterback from California's Central Valley.
"I think that there was some common themes between Sean and Josh (Allen)," he said of the former Cowboy QB, who is now under center for the Buffalo Bills. "... I also saw unbelievably competitive guys. Sean was out there trying to block a punt, dove and landed on his head. I thought, OK, here's a quarterback that's a catcher on the baseball team. We can clean up his fundamentals, but that DNA, as far as him being competitive, is there."
That has been apparent throughout Chambers' career at UW.
He suffered three straight season-ending leg injuries. He rehabbed and worked to get back on the field after each one.
Still, he lowers his shoulder and bulldozes safeties and linebackers.
Still, he fights for every yard.
Still, he competes.
One element of Chambers' game, Bohl said, also hampered Allen in college -- the art of playing quarterback -- a job Wyoming's coach calls the hardest in all of sports.
"We're in hopes that Sean's going to take that same trajectory," Bohl said. "He's got the competitiveness, he's got a strong arm, he's going to learn how to play quarterback better."
Chambers can't deny it -- this game Saturday means a lot.
He was on the sideline in 2018 when the Cowboys traveled to Fresno. This time, he'll be the one taking snaps and attempting to lead his UW squad to a victory over his hometown team.
"I have a lot of friends and family coming up," he said. "I'm really excited for them to come to Laramie and see Fresno State play against the Central Valley kid."
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players