As a professional athlete, versatility in playing ability is a goal sought after but difficult to achieve. However, Seattle Seahawks strong safety, Kam Chancellor, has lived his athletic life not only as a player capable of excellence at multiple positions but also one that has seemingly mastered the art of defense in the NFL.
Born in Norfolk, VA, Chancellor played both basketball and football in high school, where he played both the quarterback and safety positions. After logging 500 rushing yards and more than 2,000 passing yards during his senior year, Kam decided to accept the scholarship offer from Virginia Tech and went to play for the Hokies.
Although he worked out as a quarterback initially, the team placed the freshman in the cornerback position where he was generated nine tackles, one interception and broke up two passes playing all 13 games.
By his sophomore year he was named a starter, registering 79 tackles, breaking up seven passes and one interception over 14 games. His road to becoming one of the most celebrated safeties of late started in 2008 when he shifted to yet a third position at Virginia Tech as a free safety. It was here that he settled in and found his groove, recording 52 tackles, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a number of other stats defensive players, and coaches, crave.
After completing his final year for the Hokies, Chancellor entered the 2010 NFL Draft ranked third of the 126 free safeties available. The Seattle Seahawks drafted Chancellor in the 5th round with the 133rd overall pick and the march towards the formation of the Legion of Boom began.
Formed in 2012, this secondary, consisting of cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell and safeties Earl Thomas and Chancellor, has smashed defensive categories and opposing offenses, leading the Seahawks to their eventual victory at Super Bowl XLVIII.
In a few short years Chancellor has racked up accolades some will never see in their entire NFL career. He is a three time Pro Bowler, two time back-to-back NFC Champion, two time second team All Pro (back to back) and two time NFC Defensive Player of the Week during weeks 3 and 12 during the 2014 season.
After an audacious interception and 5 tackles that helped secure the 28-22 win over the Green Bay Packers and a second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl, Chancellor is expected to receive the difficult assignment of covering New England's All-Pro tight end, Rob Gronkowski. As one of the most anticipated match ups of the game, all eyes will be on the two as they battle it out this Sunday. But like Gronkowski, Kam Chancellor is no ordinary player. Standing at 6’3 and weighing 232 pounds, Kam has the size and physicality to go man-to-man with Gronk, and he’s not afraid of the challenge. "He definitely is a big, physical guy, but it's just big-on-big. Just play big-on-big." Chancellor stated during media day yesterday.
And when "Bam Bam Kam" plays big, he plays BIG!
Chancellor, who joins Russell Wilson, Jon Ryan, and Steven Hauschka as one the Seattle Seahawks four captains, will face off against a Patriots team roiled in controversy. History has a way of repeating itself and with the incumbent Super Bowl champion Seahawks equipped with the "Legion of Doom" and the spirit that Chancellor brings, this Sunday is sure to be yet another moment in the amazing maturation of a versatile athletic star.