Entering his senior year of high school, Chestnut was a highly-sought after player with numerous scholarship offers. He ultimately chose West Virginia after originally committing to Pitt, but celebration of his college choice was somewhat muted by a tough senior season which he played with a torn labrum in his shoulder.
"I wore a brace on it, but there were times when I came up and wasn't able to hit someone as hard as what I wanted to, because of the shoulder," he told BlueGoldNews.com following his senior year. "It affected my mindset a little bit, too. I knew I could play with it, but it was in the back of my mind."
Chestnut battled through the injury, then had surgery following the season. He hoped to be ready to play as a freshman, but another injury to the same shoulder kept him off the field during a year in which he wanted to make a name for himself. That process was humbling, according to the well-spoken Pennsylvania native.
"It did affect me," he admitted as WVU's football camp drew to a close. "It let me know I can't take this sport for granted. It really changed my mentality. I can see the game from a different perspective."
Following procedures to reattach his labrum and tighten up the joint capsules to prevent re-injury, Chestnut says he feels great, and is now ready to make a serious bid for playing time. Although he allows that the injury set him back some in that competition, he thinks his experience, even though much of it has come in the meeting room, will help.
"I've been working a lot on the nickel package, and I've been taking it all in. This has been a big step in my progression."
In the following interview, Chestnut discusses his career to date and how it has affected his outlook on the game, along with his prospects for playing time.