Hawkeyes to Host Out of the Blue Prospect

It's not often that a football player spends just two seasons on the gridiron and attracts a scholarship offer from a Big Ten university, but that is exactly what has happened in the case of Keensen Chambers of Worcester Academy. He will visit Iowa City this weekend. Read more of this amazing story...

It's not often that a football player spends just two seasons on the gridiron and attracts a scholarship offer from a Big Ten university, but that is exactly what has happened in the case of Keensen Chambers of Worcester Academy.

Chambers' story might not be exactly like Hawkeye recruiting tales of yore, but if he ultimately ends up signing with Iowa, his story will certainly go into the history books as one of the more unlikely and colorful commitments Iowa has received in the Kirk Ferentz era.

Prior to his senior year of high school, Chambers had not played a snap of prep football in practice, much less in a game.

"I had been playing basketball most of my life," Chambers said. "My coaches didn't have any connections even though I was a good player. I felt after my junior year that I wasn't going to get recruited for anything, so why not try to play football?"

"I wound up being the best player on my team (Southside High School in Greenville, South Carolina). I played some pee wee football a long time ago, but that was it. My senior year was my first time playing real, organized football."

Chambers success on the field during that one year attracted a small degree of attention.

"I got looked at by Tulane, and at first they had a scholarship for me and then they didn't. One of my coaches talked to me about prep school, about how that could help me get noticed by colleges while also getting another year of experience playing football, so that is how I ended up at Worcester Academy."

If Worcester Academy sounds familiar to Hawkeye fans, it should; Ken O'Keefe was Worcester's head coach between the years of 1978 and 1984. In fact, O'Keefe hired a young offensive line coach named Kirk Ferentz in 1978, and Ferentz later was the defensive coordinator under O'Keefe. Ferentz left Worcester in 1979 for a Graduate Assistant position at Pitt, and then made his way onto Hayden Fry's staff at Iowa.

So as the ‘circle of life' would have it, guess who is recruiting Chambers, who has an Iowa offer? Ken O'Keefe. And guess who is visiting Iowa City this weekend?

"I am coming to Iowa City tomorrow (Friday) on an official visit. I have been to a couple of schools unofficially so far in the process," said Chambers, who is 6-6, 230 pounds.

"My conversations with Iowa have been going well. I talk with Coach O'Keefe. They love my film, my speed at my frame and things have been going good. They have told me that I am their number one guy, and they have a lot of interest in me and I am loving it."

It's hard to blame Chambers for enjoying this process, being that 18 months ago he was a young man hungry for any type of college opportunity to show off his athleticism. In addition to his offer from Iowa, UConn, Temple and Tulane have also offered him a full ride scholarship.

Iowa is looking at Chambers on the defensive side of the ball.

"I don't know where I see myself at the next level. This is my second year playing ball. I use my hands a lot, I like to use a burst a speed to get past a lineman without him even touching me, or hit him as hard a I can and knock him out." Chambers said. He plays defensive end and tight end for Worcester Academy this year.

Chambers said he would like to have his college decision made by December.

"I really want to enroll midyear and most schools will accept me."

Many athletes that go the prep school route do so because of academic issues. Chambers is the exception, as he just needed more time on the field to allow coaches to see his natural athletic ability, in addition to more time to grow into his body from a football frame of mind.

"My coaches told me to get recruited, I should come to prep school. Then I came up here, and I have been recruited. So I thank him for that advice."

"My grades are just fine. I am a smart kid, as I have a 3.80 GPA. Things have been happening fast for me, and I am really excited about that."

Can you blame him?

HawkeyeNation.com will be in touch with Chambers following his Iowa visit this weekend.


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