Hard-working Hound a plus on and off the field

By Dave Wagner

PORTALES — Being asked to play three positions in three years can take it’s toll on a player.

Not Eastern New Mexico University redshirt sophomore Rodrick Chambers, who lets his faith in God dictate his actions.

Recruited as a defensive end out of Sam Houston High School in the Dallas suburb of Arlington, Chambers was moved to fullback as a freshman to give the Greyhounds added depth.

He saw limited duty and admitted he struggled trying to learn the position.

“It was hard because I’d never played offense,” the 5-foot-9, 223-pound Chambers said. “It was a whole new game for me.”

Last year he went back to defensive end, but was redshirted, only to be moved again this fall, this time to defensive tackle.

“Defensive tackle is not as drastic a change for me as fullback was,” Chambers said. “I played some DT in high school.

“It’s just playing it at the college level, where you’ve got a little bigger boys playing.”

His biggest problem there is his relative lack of size.
“He’s a little on the small side,” ENMU defensive coordinator Mark Ribaudo said. “But he’s real quick and strong, and he’s got a lot of energy. Hopefully, our plan is to use him as a changeup for teams, a slashing-type penetrator.”

Whatever he’s asked to do, Chambers willingly gives it a shot, and Eastern’s coaches appreciate his work ethic.

“Rodrick’s deeply religious and he’s got a lot of inner strength, more than most young men his age,” Ribaudo said. “Everybody on the team respects him for that.

“We took a poll last spring and asked the kids who influences the team the most, and Rod was one of the top vote-getters.”

Chambers has a talent for singing and has sung — by himself or with a group — in several Portales area churches.

“Wherever the Lord leads me to, I go,” he said.
He’s majoring in choral education, with a thought toward becoming a music teacher, but said he may switch to broadcast journalism with an eye toward television ministry — either in front of or behind the camera.

“That’s the big thing with Rod — he has the Holy Spirit in him,” Ribaudo said. “He’s a unique kid, and he’s great to have on the team.”

Chambers also likes to cook, and said he would like to eventually go to culinary school.

While he hopes to help the Hounds on the field this year, he sees his role more as one where he can lead by example.
“I think that goes way farther than words,” he said.