Redshirt freshman offensive tackle Bryan Chamberlain went from small town star to a scout teamer and now finds himself a possible starter in less than a two-year span. Chamberlain went into camp as the backup left tackle and after nearly beating out incumbent Ray Beno for the job, Chamberlain may end up starting by default due to a leg injury to starting right tackle Morgan Bailey.
Bailey's status for Virginia Tech remains unclear and this week Beno move from left tackle to right tackle to work with Tyler Kidney leaving a clear door open for Chamberlain's first game as a Yellow Jacket to be a start in Blacksburg against the Hokies.
"It has been different and I am trying to work my way up and help the offense as much as I can," Chamberlain said on Monday. "I just want to do what I can to help make the team better. No one practices to be number two and the goal is to start, but like I told Ray Beno on Monday. I am here with him not against him. I know Coach Johnson will make the right decision."
Before Bailey's injury and Beno's move, Chamberlain said the battle was very close for the left tackle job
"I know Ray is feeling the pressure and we are both grinding. I know me pushing for a starting job is pushing him to be a better starter and whoever gets the snap in the game is going to do their thing," he said.
Like most of his fellow 2011 signees, Chamberlain rode the pine last year and stayed home when the varsity team traveled for road games. Going through not playing proved to be a huge motivating factor for Chamberlain and has helped drive his climb up the depth chart.
"It is exciting and after your redshirt year and after being a quote unquote superstar in high school it is humbling and reality hits you when you redshirt. You take that to motivate yourself. I put things together from helping out some and watching film and then used all that information to get better for this year," he said.
Offensive line coach Mike Sewak says he has been pleased with Chamberlain, as has Coach Johnson. Chamberlain says the remaining time between now and Labor Day will be used to get himself ready and correct his mistakes.
"Watching film from last spring I have come a long way and even through all of fall camp this year. Coach Sewak always has me looking at film at my mistakes from freshman year up through now. I use what I used to do last spring to make me better now and right my wrongs," he said.
Chamberlain's ascent up the depth chart has been one of the biggest surprises of the season thus far for the Jackets.