A talented six-member tight end group – a group currently in development – just got a little deeper. At 6 feet 2 inches and 215 pounds, junior O'Neill Chambers was moved from wide receiver to the tight end spot in an effort to further bolster the Cougar passing attack.
"It's just to get more receivers and playmakers out there on the field at the same time, I believe," Chambers said. "I feel like our coaches just want a better opportunity to score and win, and this is one way they feel I can help with that right now."
"He's been studying the film and he's doing a good job learning what we do and what linebackers do,” tight end Austin Holt said about Chambers. “It will be a good speed option in the middle. He's a lot faster than us, so I definitely think it's a good thing."
Chambers said he doesn't mind the position change.
"I just want to win," Chambers said. "I'll do whatever it takes to win and I believe we'll be a better unit. We have really good veteran receivers and that's why I think they decided to move me down inside because I have a feel for the scheme already."
"I think it was a good move because it will give us some speed on the inside," said Holt. "We run a lot of different formations and with him in there we'll have a lot of options in the middle."
A physical blocker and pass-catcher on the outside, Chambers will now be facing the heart of defenses manned by bigger and stronger players. Rather than shedding blocks or breaking coverage from smaller cornerbacks, Chambers will now be locking pads with linebackers.
"The coaches saw a lot of physicality out there with the corners and safeties, so now it seems like they want me to go out against those linebackers and I can get just as physical with them," said Chambers. "I'm also a lot faster than linebackers too, so I'll bring that side of things to the position as well. I think it's going to be really fun."
This year the BYU coaches have placed an added emphasis on every receiver learning the routes and responsibilities of the other receivers, so the transition for Chambers hasn’t been too tough.
"I knew a majority of their routes," Chambers said of the tight ends. "I'm just getting the system down and a feel for the linebackers and how they play and sit in their zones."
"We're just trying to get all the best weapons on the field at the same time," said receiver Cody Hoffman, who has now moved up and taken Chambers' spot on the outside. "They moved O'Neill on the inside to create more receiver threats on the field. The coaches know what he's capable of, and having him in there and some speed on the inside just makes it harder for defenses to guard."
Meanwhile, Hoffman is excited about becoming a starting wide receiver. Against Florida State last Saturday, he caught his first touchdown as a Cougar.
"I've been waiting for this since I got here," Hoffman said. "Being the starting receiver out there, it feels good."
"Yeah, he's good and he's another big body out there that can run good routes on the outside," Chambers said about Hoffman. "He's good and he's ready to go, so he and Spencer [Hafoka] are ready to go out there. We'll be able to use more of our receivers’ abilities out there on the field."