Sean Chambers’ visit to Wyoming last Saturday sealed the deal for him.
“Laramie is an awesome town,” Chambers said. “It reminds me a lot of Kerman. Very similar in the ways of the small community. The whole community loves its football team.”
Chambers is a quarterback from a small town in California’s Central Valley who committed to Wyoming on Tuesday. If that sounds familiar, it should.
Kerman is just a half-hour drive from Firebaugh, the home of current Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen.
Chambers’ head coach, Stephen Hurt, is actually from Firebaugh himself.
“I’ve known (Allen) since he was a little kid,” Hurt said. “Great family, great kid, and it’s been awesome just seeing the small-town kid be able to get past those obstacles, getting overlooked and actually making something out of it.
“Because there’s been so many kids throughout the years that have gotten passed up, just because of the small-school label that they’re labeled with, and I think there’s still several kids that get overlooked. It’s been great seeing Sean get this national exposure, even though we’re still considered a small community, small town.”
Chambers is listed as 6-foot-3, 215-pounder with three stars from 247 Sports and two from Rivals and Scout.
“Sean’s your typical dual-threat quarterback,” Hurt said. “I mean, fortunately we haven’t had to throw too much this year, just because our ground attack has been so amazing. We’ve got three running backs plus Sean that have been just showing up and putting in work every week. Just seeing his growth from this past offseason, he’s going through his progressions, making his read in the pass game, and if the time calls for it, we can always call his number to run the ball, too.
“... He can make all the throws in the book, all over the field. His accuracy has been one of the biggest improvements from last year to this year. I can call any pass play out there and count on him to be able to make that throw, because he is one of those quarterbacks.”
Unlike Allen, Chambers has had Division I scholarship offers as a high schooler. There’s Wyoming, obviously, but also nearby Fresno State and Big Ten school Rutgers, the team Chambers committed to in June.
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But last Friday, Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl made the trip out to Kerman. The school printed up a sign to welcome Bohl and the whole varsity team signed it. Then, Chambers made a trip to Laramie to watch Wyoming’s 45-10 win against Texas State.
“I loved it,” Chambers said. “It’s awesome. The atmosphere is second to none. It was just loud and booming there, and I loved it. Every second of it.”
Monday, Rutgers coaches visited Chambers in Kerman and he told them he was decommitting. The next night, he made his verbal commitment to the Cowboys public.
“(Rutgers) was his very first option and first team that offered him,” Hurt said. “So I think that that interest alone right there kind of gave him the first little heads up that, ‘Hey, Rutgers is rolling out the red carpet for me.’ And then once he started to get a few other offers, Wyoming came knocking at the door. That opened his eyes to, ‘Hey, maybe Rutgers isn’t the only option for me.’ So after going on that recruiting trip and talking to him, he said that Wyoming just felt like home and that he felt real close with the coaching staff and everybody up there.
“... And just seeing Coach Bohl come out to the game last Friday, the day before a game, that showed a lot, and I think Sean really took notice of that and made notice that Coach Bohl meant business.”
In addition to Allen, Wyoming has brought on a pair of walk-on quarterbacks from the Central Valley recently: third-stringer Nick Szpor, who also holds for field-goal attempts for the Cowboys; and Isaac Leppke, who has moved from quarterback to wide receiver.
Kerman is about double the size of Firebaugh and plays in a larger division, but the Lions have not had a football player sign with an FBS school since the early ’90s, Hurt said.
“So this has been a pretty cool experience for not only us as a coaching staff, for Sean, but the whole community,” Hurt said. “The whole community really backs Sean.”
Chambers will have to earn his starting spot at Wyoming. The Cowboys brought in a three-star quarterback from California last year, too, in Tyler Vander Waal, a Ball State decommit.
“Josh is leaving this year ... but competition is competition,” Chambers said. “If I go anywhere, there will be competition. So I’m looking forward to going there and competing.”