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Originally published Sunday, December 4, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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Receiver Craig Chambers says he will transfer

The Washington career of mercurial receiver Craig Chambers is over. Chambers, who just concluded his sophomore season, said Saturday he...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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The Washington career of mercurial receiver Craig Chambers is over.

Chambers, who just concluded his sophomore season, said Saturday he will transfer after asking coach Tyrone Willingham for an official letter of release earlier in the day.

Rumors of Chambers' unhappiness circulated all season, and he admitted he began thinking of leaving the school even before Willingham took over as coach.

"It's been a process since my freshman year," he said. "Things just kind of started off rocky. It's not really coach Willingham but things just have been happening since I've been here. I would just like to start over somewhere new and get away from everything."

Chambers met with Willingham and receivers coach Eric Yarber on Friday and Saturday. He said initial meetings Friday had him thinking about staying but that he decided Friday night to leave.

"They felt like I could work a little bit harder to improve my game, and I didn't disagree, but I said I thought there were still some situations where I should have been playing and I wasn't," Chambers said. "We just had two different opinions about what was going on."

Chambers, who played for Jackson High School in Mill Creek, said he will almost certainly transfer to a Division I-AA school so he won't lose any eligibility.

He redshirted his first season at Washington in 2003 and played the last two years, meaning he has just two seasons of eligibility left. He said one school he will consider is Montana, where former Washington assistant Bobby Hauck is the head coach, but that he has yet to talk with anyone.

Chambers was one of the most highly decorated members of UW's Class of 2003. It was the last put together by former coach Rick Neuheisel, who was fired before those players showed up on campus.

After redshirting, he made a splash late in his freshman year of 2004 with 19 catches for 408 yards in the last four games.

But he played sparingly early this season before finally regaining a starting job. He officially started six of the last nine games and had 31 catches for 573 yards and a team-leading six touchdown catches.

Huskies coaches could not be reached for comment Saturday afternoon.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

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