Chambers' New Disposition

Junior wide receiver O'Neill Chambers has become one of the most improved players on the team, not that the 6-foot-2-inch, 211-pound Floridian was bad to begin with. He's taken on a more influential role on the team through example and leadership for reasons beyond himself.

When asked about his greater influence as a member of BYU's football team, O'Neill Chambers deflected the point of interest from himself towards his Cougar teammates. Looking out onto the practice field, Chambers smiled and gave credit where credit was due.

"It's the young guys that are pushing me, I think," Chambers humbly said. "I see these young guys coming in and they're a fresh group with a lot of talent. I'm pretty much the only guy from the ‘08 class and most of my guys are on missions, so I think it's a lot of these young guys pushing me to become better and also try and make them better by being a leader. All I'm thinking about is just becoming better as a player and a leader for my teammates and for my friends and family. I'm just going to go out there and do it."

Playing for something greater – as O'Neill puts it – seems to suggest there's more at work here. There is a noticeable difference in his disposition, and it could be that disposition that has allowed him to grow.

"I'm just trying to work my butt off to become better in every way," said Chambers. "I want to go all out, all the time, every second. I'm thinking I want to become the best player I can be to help my teammates become the best they can be, and with that kind of approach I'm thinking about the league. So I have to take advantage of what the program has to offer and make it happen. You become better by helping others become better."

"Making it happen" requires being molded and mentored by the Cougar coaches, and working to improve.

"The biggest difference in me from over the past years has been my increased speed," Chambers said. "That's where I would say I've improved the most. Everybody doubted last year, saying I wasn't that fast, but I've really focused on my speed and strength while getting quicker. Those are the three things I've been working on and I'm going to get on it out there."

When Chambers first came to BYU, he was already one of the bigger and more physical receivers within the offense. Coupling his aggressive nature with greater athleticism will make it that much more difficult for cornerbacks to win the coverage battle either off the line of scrimmage or out in the passing routes.

"I've just been told that I don't look that fast on the field, or that I'm not that fast," Chambers said. "I took it to the heart. I took it to the heart every single day. When I'm lifting, when I'm running or working out I would just think about that every single day. I want to prove everybody wrong. I was just doing a lot of workouts over the summer, and I worked out really hard and was running the Y around four or five times over the summer. Also, Ross [Apo] is pushing me and I just want to be a big brother to him and show him the way. I've taken things personally."

Becoming a big brother to the younger guys has lit a fire within Chambers, and that burn has led to him having more fun.

"This is my third year here and it's been great and a lot of fun," Chambers said. "This is most fun I've had. There are a lot more athletes out there on the field and there are a lot more guys willing to work. We have a lot of crazy animals on this team. We're young but we're going to shock the world."

Shock the football world because Chambers is now bigger, stronger and faster?

"See, that's the one thing," he said with a grin. "They won't have to worry about me, it's going to be about all of us. That's the thing."


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