Jeremiah Chambers was willing to anything and everything during his time at Vista Ridge, and he’s taken that work ethic to the college level.
Now in his junior year at Abilene Christian University, the talented linebacker made an impression as a freshman, earned a starting spot as a sophomore and was named a team captain as a junior with the Wildcats.
“I just work really hard studying the playbook,” Chambers said. “An advantage I have is knowing what everybody else around me is doing so I can make plays a lot more and expect to make plays and be a physical linebacker.”
Chambers stood out in his senior year at Vista Ridge, finishing with 150 tackles, including 11 for loss and five sacks and earning first team all-district and honorable mention all-state honors as the Rangers made it to the state semifinals.
He was named District 25-5A Defensive Newcomer of the Year as a junior with the Rangers.
“I think Jeremiah and his class were instrumental in changing the culture on campus,” Vista Ridge head coach Rodney Vincent said. “he was a really good leader for us. He was one of those guys that worked hard at what does and he was very passionate about what he did here at Vista Ridge.”
Vincent said in addition to his work ethic, his versatility stood out.
With the Rangers, Chambers lined up at inside and outside linebacker, cornerback, safety and even shifted to the offensive side of the ball and line up at receiver when hew as called upon, though he concentrated more on defense during his senior season.
“He could probably play defensive end if he wanted to,” Vincent said.
Chambers said he went to a lot of camps during his senior year and got a lot of exposure before ACU gave him the opportunity.
He appeared in seven games as a freshman, finishing with 20 total tackles and two tackles for loss. As a starter in 2017, Chambers finished with 50 tackles, two pass breakups, two passes defended and a quarterback hurry.
Through four games this season, Chambers leads the Wildcats’ defense in every major category. He has 39 total tackles — 15 more than the closest player — with five and a half tackles for loss, two sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries.
ACU second-year head coach Adam Dorrell said before the season that Chambers would be leaned on to fill the void left by Sam Denmark, who graduated and finished his career as the program’s all-time tackle leader with 396.
“It doesn’t really bother me,” Chambers said. “I look at it more like I have to go out there and take care of business and do what I have to do. It’s not about records for me. I loved the kid though. He was a great guy and I loved being out there with him.”
There are a couple other Leander ISD connections on the Wildcats’ roster with Rouse standout Billy McCrary shining in his first season at running back and former Cedar Park player Obinna Udoye suiting up at cornerback.
Chambers and Vincent have stayed in contact and the college linebacker still tracks the Rangers' progress. When the Wildcats traveled to Waco to take on Baylor a couple weeks ago, Vincent made the trip along with his Vista Ridge linebackers coach Chad Scott.
It’s that support that has helped Chambers reach his potential.
“It’s good to see (my old coaches),” he said. “I’m really just thankful for the people that have stuck with me the whole time. Especially my parents and the coaches at Vista Ridge and here at Abilene Christian.”