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Wyoming quarterbacks

Wyoming quarterback Sean Chambers looks for a receiver during the Cowboys' scrimmage on April 13 at Cheney Alumni Field in Casper.

LARAMIE — Sean Chambers returned to the top of the depth chart this spring with a clean bill of health and never relinquished that spot.

Now Chambers’ designation as Wyoming’s starting quarterback is once again official.

In a move that’s been expected for weeks, Chambers was the winner in the quarterback competition with Tyler Vander Waal, who started nine games last season as a redshirt freshman.

Vander Waal was benched midway through the Cowboys’ eighth game in favor of Chambers, a dual threat who sparked an offense that finished last in the Mountain West in yards and points.

Chambers was listed as the No. 1 quarterback on a post-spring depth chart released Thursday.

Chambers ran for more than 100 yards in each of his first three games and accounted for 595 total yards and five touchdowns before sustaining a broken fibula against Air Force on Nov. 17. Since Chambers played in just four games, he kept his redshirt and will be a freshman again next season.

Bohl said before the spring that an injury has never cost one of his players his spot on the depth chart, but he opened up the competition once spring practices started in late March.

The focus for Chambers was getting more comfortable with Cowboys’ pro-style offense and developing as a passer after the Cowboys relied heavily on his legs last season. Vander Waal completed just 48.5 percent of his passes last season, so improving his footwork and accuracy were the primary objectives for the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder.

But Chambers always maintained his lead, taking a majority of the first-team reps throughout the spring.

Neither quarterback did much to impress in Wyoming’s first open scrimmage in Casper on April 13. Chambers was just 5 of 15 passing while Vander Waal completed 66 percent (8 of 12) of his passes but threw two interceptions.

The Cowboys’ second scrimmage a week later was closed as were all the team periods during practices, but Bohl and offensive coordinator Brent Vigen said both quarterbacks were far more consistent leading up to the spring game April 27.

If Chambers didn’t already have the starting job cemented before the game, he sewed it up with a strong performance. The 6-3, 220-pounder went 9-for-16 for 135 yards with a 19-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Johnson — the only passing touchdown of the day. Vander Waal, who led a fourth-quarter comeback against Air Force in Chambers’ absence, was 12 of 25 for 122 yards, completing just seven of his last 18 attempts.

It was this time a year ago when Vander Waal led senior Nick Smith in the quarterback competition with Josh Allen off to the NFL after being drafted seventh overall by the Buffalo Bills, though Vander Waal’s status as the starter wasn’t cemented until fall camp. With less than four months left until Wyoming’s Aug. 31 opener against SEC foe Missouri, Chambers has a much tighter grip on the job.

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Follow UW athletics beat writer Davis Potter on Twitter at @DavisEPotter

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College Sports Reporter

Davis Potter is the University of Wyoming athletics reporter. An Alabama native and 2011 Auburn University graduate, Potter joined the Star-Tribune in 2018 after five years covering Ole Miss and the Southeastern Conference. He lives in Laramie.

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