BYU football notes: O'Neill Chambers not invited to preseason camp, return is highly unlikely
Provo • Receiver-turned-defensive back O'Neill Chambers, the talented, mercurial BYU football player who was attempting to come back from being booted off the team nearly two years ago, will likely never be accepted back, coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
The school announced Thursday morning that Chambers, a senior from Harmony, Fla., "was not invited to participate in fall camp," which began Thursday afternoon.
After practice, Mendenhall said "nothing has changed" in more than six months regarding Chambers' status although he was allowed to participate in spring ball and said "that's the way it looks right now," when asked if it was certain that Chambers would not return.
"I have been really consistent saying it was going to be day by day, with very specific things between he and I that he needs to do. And to this point, there are some of those things that he hasn't done," Mendenhall said. "I am hopeful that O'Neill can just live a quality life and do what he needs to do."
Taysom Hill at Wildcat?
Mendenhall said that backup quarterback Taysom Hill could get on the field at a position other than quarterback because he is "one of the fastest players on the team." He said that Hill could be used in a "Wildcat" role, or some other way to take advantage of his athleticism.
"He could be gaining game experience possibly in a different role" than quarterback, Mendenhall said.
Max is back
Former BYU quarterback Max Hall has joined the coaching staff as a student assistant, allowed by NCAA rules because Hall has not finished his undergraduate degree. Hall will be reunited, in a sense, with former BYU tight end Andrew George, who is a graduate assistant on the staff.
"It is a fantastic thing for our staff, for coach [Brandon] Doman to basically have an assistant quarterback coach," Mendenhall said. "Having Max and Andrew George, that's a great thing for us."
Buckner will be back
Mendenhall said defensive back Robbie Buckner, No. 2 on the depth chart at field corner, is not on the current 105-man roster because he had emergency surgery a few weeks go that is "pretty limiting." Buckner will join the team when school starts.
Drew Reilly, a transfer from Colorado State, practiced with the team Thursday but can't play this season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Scott Arellano, a punter from Foothill College, and Adam Hogan, a defensive back from Los Angeles Southwest College, have also transferred to BYU and practiced Thursday.