Chancellor Braces for Pass-Happy Deacs

CLEMSON - If you were to walk by Clemson's Chris Chancellor on the street, the last thing you would think is that this guy is a shutdown cornerback.

Turns out, that's exactly what he is.

Chancellor, a former three-star prospect out of the Miami area, has turned out to be one of the more consistent performers of Clemson's defense in each of the last two years.

Last season he led the Tigers with nine passes broken up and four interceptions. This year he already has two more interceptions as well as two tackles for loss.

Not that anyone has really noticed, mind you.

While safety Mike Hamlin is viewed by NFL scouts as a draft pick in 2009 and other skill players on Clemson's offense garner all the headlines, Chancellor quietly goes about his business on the field, routinely making the task of covering receivers three to five inches taller than him look easy more than anything else.

"I know my job and what I have to do," Chancellor told this week. "I take a lot of pride in my coverage ability. We've got the same four guys back in the secondary here the last couple of years and it's like we always know what each of us are doing no matter what the situation and that's a big help."

Known by his teammates as "Little Vic," because he's like another coach on the field, he may be better suited with the nickname, "The Blanket" because he does such a good job covering opposing receivers.

And week, he'll have his hands full with Wake Forest wide out D.J. Boldin, who currently leads the ACC with 28 catches in just four games and who is also the younger brother of Arizona Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin.

In addition, Boldin has the luxury of one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the nation throwing his direction in junior Riley Skinner.

"D.J. has gotten off to a great start and then you have Riley Skinner, he has been in their system for three years now and he was the ACC rookie of the year and is always good," said Chancellor. "We know that. He takes control of their offense and makes big plays and is as accurate as any quarterback we face."

Wake Forest has been known more as a misdirection option attack in recent years under Jim Grobe, but this year much of that has changed. Under Skinner's direction the Deacs actually lead the league in passing at over 243 yards per game.

The junior quarterback is completing 68 percent of his passes just one year after leading the nation in the same category(72.4).

"The guy can just be in rhythm," said Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. "They get five out and he sits back there all day and if he has time to throw the ball he's going to find somebody.

"They are different [this year]. The routes they were making a living on last year they run, occasionally, but it's not their main stuff this year. They've changed."

For Chancellor though, it's just another day at the office.

"We know that Wake Forest is a good team," he said. "This isn't the same team that was up there five years ago or three years ago. This is a talented team that has athletes all over the field so we have to be ready. They've got plenty of team speed like we do.

"This really is an even matchup and they have no conference losses and we have one. We've got to bring it all to the table and step up to the challenge this week." Top Stories