Super Bowl XLVIII: Kam Chancellor’s Development at Virginia Tech


Jan 28, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) is interviewed during Media Day for Super Bowl XLIII at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks have the NFL’s best defense while also having tons of star players all over their defense including the outspoken Richard Sherman. One of the best players on this Seattle defense has been a Pro Bowler twice in his four seasons, All-Pro this past season, and is arguably the best safety currently in the NFL along with his teammate Earl Thomas. This player is a Virginia Tech alumni and could be a sleeper contender to win Super Bowl MVP with a big performance on Sunday.

However, most people would have probably never expected that Kam Chancellor would be one of the best safeties in the NFL on the best defense in the league while also playing for a Super Bowl when Chancellor committed to Virginia Tech as a two-star dual threat quarterback.

Kam Chancellor went to Matthew Fontaine Maury High School in Norfolk, Virginia which was the same high school as former NBA number 1 overall pick Joe Smith. Kam Chancellor came out of the football talent-rich Virginia Beach area but Chancellor was not a highly rated player like many other players including the latest 5-star prospects from that region, Quin Blanding and Andrew Brown. Kam Chancellor was a 2-star dual threat quarterback and was lightly recruited with the Hokies going after him even though he seemed like a player that might not even have the talent to compete at the FBS level.

The Virginia Tech Hokies saw something in Chancellor that most of the college football world didn’t see and without that, Chancellor might not be about to start in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Jan 19, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) intercepts a pass against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the 2013 NFC Championship football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

During this year’s Super Bowl Media Day, Kam Chancellor talked about the value of Virginia Tech secondary coach Torrian Gray on his development. Gray was a big reason that Chancellor was moved from quarterback to cornerback for his freshman season and that was when Chancellor started to develop into a star defensive player. Chancellor didn’t start at all during his freshman season at cornerback but he played in every game and showed the potential to become a big time player in the secondary.

Kam Chancellor evolution into a big time safety from a dual-threat quarterback would continue when he became the starter at the rover position on the Virginia Tech defense. Now for those non-Virginia Tech fans that don’t know what the rover position is, don’t feel like you should because a rover isn’t very common. A rover is basically a fifth defensive back that is more of a third safety than a third cornerback though a rover also has to be a quality tackler and hopefully a hard-hitter just like any good linebackers. Chancellor would start every game that season and have 79 tackles to go with an interception.

Jan 31, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos helmets are on display with the Vince Lombardi Trophy prior to a press conference at Rose Theater in advance of Super Bowl XLVIII. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kam Chancellor would finally move to safety though it wouldn’t be strong safety as Chancellor became Virginia Tech’s starting free safety. Chancellor would have 52 tackles and 2 interceptions that season but then considered entering the 2009 NFL Draft before making the decision to stay for his senior season. When Kam Chancellor had finished his career, secondary coach Torrian Gray said that Chancellor was possibly “the greatest safety in Virginia Tech history.” Chancellor would end up being selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the 133rd overall pick in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Kam Chancellor left a major mark on Virginia Tech football and now, he has the chance to make a big impact Sunday in his attempt to help the Seattle Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII. Good luck to Kam Chancellor but Hokie fans can be comforted by the fact that a Hokie will get a Super Bowl ring since former Virginia Tech offensive tackle Vinston Painter is on the Denver Broncos’ roster so good luck to Painter also.