East County Sports

FA route may be blessing for James

Chanceller James impresses at 49ers FA mini-camp last week.



By Brett Fisher, Jr.



SAN FRANCISCO – CHANCELLER JAMES was once a kid dreaming of playing in the NFL, now his dreams are a reality as he was signed to the San Francisco 49ers 90-man roster this week after he participated in the team’s rookie mini-camp last weekend.

The former Steele Canyon High and Boise State safety had an outstanding senior season in 2016 where he started 12 games leading the Broncos in interceptions with 3 and was second on the team in tackles with 80.

James during a workout with the 49ers.

Everything that has transpired for Chanceller in the past year is nothing but hard work and determination with the will to never quit.

You see, Chanceller missed his entire redshirt freshman year to a knee injury as well as the end of his redshirt sophomore year after starting 3 games.

Now he is the first Steele Canyon Alumni to make it on a NFL roster since the Spring Valley charter school opened in 2000.

After being contacted by many teams during the pre-draft process but going undrafted, Chanceller is very happy with where he landed and the opportunity that is ahead of him.

What are his thoughts about being the first Steele Canyon alumni to make it this far and being able to share this process with his best friend and teammate Mario Yakoo also of Boise State and Steele Canyon?

“It feels amazing, God has blessed me,” Chanceller¬†said. “I just want to thank Steele Canyon High School. Their football program is amazing. The whole sports program is amazing, it gets the kids ready for college on the field and in the classroom.

“I think that’s what most parents should want out of their children’s school and sports programs and that is why I am in the NFL today. That’s why me and Mario are where we are today because of Steele Canyon High School.”

Most people would think that having two knee surgeries early in your collegiate career would be cause for concern or a red flag for NFL teams but Chanceller says he was never worried about that derailing his dream.

“My injuries were a genetic thing, so I wasn’t concerned with that,” he said. “God has a plan for everybody and if you keep your eyes on the prize and keep your heart on God, things will work out and that’s what happened.”

Now that he has broken down the door to the NFL, Chanceller has a new set of goals in place for his 2017 rookie season.

“I want to make the 53-man roster and become the special teams captain. I want to use my physicality and my knowledge of the game to make an impact right away and also my outgoing personality to make an impact in the locker room.”

James has overcome many obstacles in his football life to make it to this point in his career.

Sometimes when you think things are at their worse, those times can mold you and prepare you for the good that is to come down the road.

Chanceller persevered many times when most would have given up, it’s safe to say the NFL wants those who have faced adversity versus those who have had it easy.

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