Adron Chambers: Likes Playing Cornerback

Adron Chambers has had to study a defense in great detail before. As the starting quarterback for Penscacola (Fla.) High School, he knew all about the schemes and shifts of opposing defenses. But now that the Mississippi State redshirt freshman is actually playing defense, he admits it's a completely new level of learning.

"In high school playing quarterback, I had to understand the whole defense then," said Chambers. "But not like this. I have to cover my guy and there might be other guys I have to cover and recognize in different defenses. I trust my speed and that's not a worry. I just need to be able to recognize what's going on all over the field."

Chambers, who is now 5-foot-9 and tipping the scales at 185 pounds (enrolled at MSU at 171 pounds), has endured two changes after just one season on campus. Chambers made the move from all-state prep quarterback to receiver last year as a college rookie.

And this past spring, Chambers switched sides of the football and now lines up at right cornerback. This last move, according to Chambers, is his best so far.

"It was actually Coach Croom's decision," said Chambers. "He saw I was struggling a little with my knee at receiver and moved me to defense. To me, it's the best change of my life. In high school, I mainly played quarterback. But a few games against the other team's best receiver, they would put me at cornerback in certain situations. I remember one game they put me at corner to go against Fred Rouse who is playing at Florida State now."

That knee problem is a problem no more, however. Following his senior season at Penscacola, Chambers suffered a knee injury in the Emerald Coast All-Star game, which forced him to not only miss the California-Florida All-Star contest but also spend the first part of the 2005 season getting healthy.

And so far, so good.

"When I hurt my knee, it really didn't affect me mentally," said Chambers. "I had never experienced an injury before so I didn't get worried. I just prayed a lot about it, put it in God's hands and just rolled with it. It doesn't cause me any problems at all anymore."

Which was very obvious in the spring because Chambers moved up the depth chart and exited spring drills as the back-up behind senior David Heard.

During a few drills, Heard was hampered slightly with a minor injury, allowing more time for Chambers to work with the first-team defense.

Chambers jokingly thought Heard was faking at first.

"I actually told my mama that I thought David Heard was sitting out (with injury) just to see what I could do," said Chambers with a laugh. "But this spring, the coaches told me they liked what they saw from me at cornerback. I haven't reached my potential yet at (cornerback) and I'm still learning. But I will get better each day."

Yes, Chambers does have his sights on breaking the starting lineup like any competitive collegiate football player would. But for now, he just wants to do his job, on and off the field, the best way he knows how, no matter what that requires.

"My first goal this year is to have a 3.0 grade point average," said Chambers, who is majoring in business management and attended both sessions of summer school. "The other goal is to do my part in helping this team. It doesn't matter if I'm on the field playing or on the sidelines watching, I have to fill my role and do my part for this team."

After leaving Pensacola High School, many thought Chambers would have two roles at the college level. You see, Chambers was just as sought after on the diamond, with many college coaches desperately wanting this left-handed pitcher whose fastball was clocked near 95 miles per hour.

Although he's yet to go across the road to Dudy Noble Field and play up his 'first love' again, Chambers hasn't completely given up the idea of being a two-sport student athlete.

But first things first.

"I miss baseball a lot," said Adron Chambers. "A lot of people and coaches tell me I should be playing both. (MSU head baseball) Coach Polk asks me to come over and every time I tell him that I am coming to show them what I can do.

"But I've got to get football down first. I may go try baseball later in my career and I know I can still play and go take somebody's position (laughing). But I have responsibilities with Coach Croom and he's the one to ask me to play football and sign with Mississippi State. But baseball will always be my first love."

For now, Chambers is finding plenty of love among his football teammates. He has been a part of baseball and football teams his entire life. But not like this one.

"I tell you what, all my life I have been on teams before, growing up and in high school and all that," said Chambers. "But I have never been a part of a team like this and this is the best team atmosphere right now that I have seen before. We all love each other and it's awesome to be a part of building something. We are building character, building football players and helping everybody out."

And Chambers strongly believes the Bulldogs' recipe for success in 2006 is very simple. All they need to do is just listen to the head coach and everything will work out 'just fine'.

"Now with Omarr (Conner) at receiver, I mean he's one of the best athletes in the SEC," said Chambers. "That move is going to be big and really help the offense. And I know the defense was real sound last year, like 26th or 27th in the nation, and we expect to be higher this year. As long as we believe in Coach Croom and his program and what he is teaching us, we will move in the right direction this year. And this team is doing exactly that."


Paul Jones is a writer for the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website. Paul, also a sports writer for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch, can be reached by email at pjones@cdispatch.com.

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