Isaiah Chambers has waited a long time to play college football. The former 4-star Aldine MacArthur signed with TCU, redshirted in 2016 and transferred to Houston in the spring. He sat out 2017 due to NCAA transfer rules. Chambers last played a football game in November of 2015 vs. Aldine Nimitz.
Now Chambers looks to hold down one of the defensive end positions in Mark D'Onofrio's 3-4. Chambers was the prize of the of Gary Patterson's 2016 class. He held offers from Texas, Michigan, Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Texas A&M. Chambers didn't leave TCU due to any agenda or playing time; he came back to Houston to be closer to his ailing aunt who'd raised him.
Chambers played alongside the legend Ed Oliver with Houston's first-team unit. From the stands, it looks like he's maintained all of his great get off from his high school days. At MacArthur, Chambers played at a standup defensive end, using his speed and anticipation to get into the backfield and destroying the mesh point.
Houston's 2017 defense lacked the chaos-inducing element that Todd Orlando's units brought to bear in 2015 and 2016. Perhaps you can blame D'Onofrio's approach, but the loss of Tyus Bowser on the edge didn't help. If Chambers can fill that role and help increase pressure on opposing quarterbacks then perhaps Houston can start to look like the turnover-causing machine it was two and three seasons ago.
Chambers has the talent and the size but most importantly the length to cause tackles fits. His arm length will help him create space and shed. We'll have to account for the rust of Chambers' layoff, but on Saturday during the Red/White game, he accounted for two sacks and spent a good part of the afternoon in the backfield. Granted that came against Houston's second team tackles, but the production was still there. We're expecting more of the same this fall.
Houston opens the 2018 season at Rice.