California LB hoping to hear from UW

Ben Chandler has two scholarship offers. The old school throwback recently put on a show at the combine in Berkeley.

Ben Chandler, a linebacker prospect from the Loomis, Calif., has a true passion for the game, according to his prep coach, and schools from the Pac-10 and beyond have taken notice. And he is not shy about contacting college coaches to talk a little football.

Chandler is consistently hearing from several Pac-10 schools, including Washington State, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Washington and Arizona State. Coaches from Boise State, UNLV, Fresno State, Sacramento State and Utah State are all keeping in close contact.

Chandler, who said he checked in at 6-foot-3 1/2, 207 pounds at a recent combine, currently holds two offers, from Boise State and Sacramento State, and could very well be on the verge of a few more. He is also hoping to hear from two schools that have long been favorites of his growing up, Wisconsin and Texas, before making his college choice.

A hard-nosed leader according to his prep coach, he plans on making his decision before Week one of his senior football season. He has already achieved a qualifying score on the SAT.

Chandler's Top five? Boise State leads slightly over Cal, Fresno State, Washington State and UNLV.

Del Oro High coach Casey Taylor said Chandler's an old school throwback, a guy who breathes football.

"Ben's very athletic and he has a great passion for the game of football," Taylor said. "He's a very knowledgeable student of the game, a big-time competitor and he's one of (those guys) that just wills a team to succeed. He leads us on and off the field. He works hard in the weight room, too."

This month Chandler has recorded a 250-pound clean, 400-pound squat and a 295-pound bench press. On his junior season, Chandler had 103 tackles, three blocked punts (one for a safety and one for a touchdown), three fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. In addition to being named the SFL Defensive MVP, other honors from his junior campaign include being named first-team All-Metro by the Sacramento Bee and second team all-state.

Most Schools are recruiting Chandler at linebacker but, speaking to his athleticism, he averaged 15 yards a catch from his tight end spot, with 38 receptions for 568 yards (long of 65) and five touchdowns.

Some recent measurables include a 4.68 40-yard dash, a shuttle in the 4.3 to 4.4 range, a vertical leap between 30 and 33 inches and 24 reps with 185 pounds on the bench press. At's Berkeley combine last weekend, some observers thought he was the top linebacker in attendance, although's Chris Fetters gave the nod to McClymonds High's Joshua Tatum.

"Tatum was the toast of the linebacker corps, but Del Oro, California linebacker Ben Chandler and Dwight Roberson - who traveled north from Ventura (Calif.) Saint Bonaventure - gave Tatum a hard run for his money," Fetters said. "Chandler tested out really well and also showed a nice instinct during one-on-ones."

Further spring and summer plans include Sacramento State's camp with his Del Oro teammates, Boise State's camp and a likely camp trip to Fresno.

Considering a major in physical education or related field, Chandler has designs on being a football coach after his playing days come to a close. Other factors that will go into his college selection include the overall impression he gets about the coaches and football program.

"Coach accessibility; having a guy who's real, that you can go and talk to," Chandler said. "And the players that I'm going to be playing with (would foster) a team atmosphere; not just a place where guys are out there doing their thing. I want to go and win as a team. Location doesn't matter, I'll play anywhere."

Chandler has certainly gotten that sense from Boise State, attending the Broncos' spring game and talking on a regular basis with the BSU coaches. He is not one to wait around for coaches to contact him.

"The thing I'll do is promote myself. If I see a coach, I'll go talk to him," he said. "If I can get a phone number, I'll call him. But I don't always have a way to reach these guys."

In a position coach at the next level, Chandler wants to play for a competitor.

"I'd like to play for a hard nosed guy," he said. "A guy that likes to teach his guys to play tough and a guy that's really good scheme-wise. And also, someone that you can just sit down and talk to about whatever. I'm going to be playing for him for 4-5 years, I'd like to have a good relationship with him."

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