Projecting a star high school player to have big time success is always going to be inexact because of the level of competition a player faces is always drastically less than what they are going to experience when playing at the college level. That’s why Isaiah Chambers is someone who is going to be so interesting to watch develop.
He has awesome physical tools, but he so overwhelms the offensive linemen he goes up against that he isn’t challenged very often. He’ll see new challenges at the next level, but he has everything you could ask for in a defensive end to overcome those challenges.
Physically fits the ideal for a defensive end. He has room to get even bigger and could probably play at 275 fairly easily in a couple of years. Moves exceptionally well for his size and shows great flexibility. SEC level of athlete on the defensive line.
Chambers has a good first step and his ability to move laterally at his size helps him out-athlete a lot of players he faces. He has the speed to make plays in pursuit and can make it tough for anyone to get outside of him. It’s tough to gauge how he will hold up against the point of attack versus good competition because the players he faces are often so overmatched.
He makes a ton of plays in the backfield, but so many of them are the unblocked variety. Some of that is his athleticism, but at least part of it is that he isn’t facing much resistance. That is always concerning because you’d like to see how he takes on blocks and is able to disengage. He doesn’t have to use his hands and doesn’t deliver a punch because he doesn’t have to. He will, though, because it’s a hands game and if he wants to continue to be as dominant off the edge he is going to have to learn to use his hands and be violent with them.
He has great potential as a pass rusher and flashes the ability to dip and bend around the edge. Once again, though, he can get away with either not using his hands or using arm over/swim moves that won’t work at the next level because they can’t handle his size and athleticism.
As of right now I’m not sure if he has been selected to any of the big national all-star games, but I would love to watch him in action going against better competition there.
I do think he can stay an edge defender even if he gets big enough to kick inside because he has rare athleticism for his size. I do think his best fit is as an end in a 4-3.
The ceiling is extremely high for Chambers and time will tell when he will get there because he is going to have to adjust his game going against better competition. The physical tools are so great, though, that he could end up being an immediate contributor as a rotational player early in his career before developing into a high end starter.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach)