Chris Chester came to OU as a tight end out of Tustin, Calif. He eventually was moved to offensive line, where he's now played eight years in the NFL with Ravens and Redskins.
But Chester's claim to fame was as a backup tight end. In 2002 at Missouri, Chester caught a 14-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown pass from holder Matt McCoy on a fake field goal, giving the Sooners a 31-24 victory.
The fake field goal, it's usually me bringing it up. People see me as just a lineman. And I'm OK with that. It's my glory. It's my one shining achievement as a tight end at Oklahoma. It's a fun memory.
I remember I jumped to get the ball. I didn't really need to jump. I remember not knowing what to do once I caught it, and celebrating, just being happy. And I think Coach (Bob) Stoops threw me the game ball after the game, and I think I dropped it. It was a fun memory though.
I always felt like when I was coming up, we always had a variety of special teams trick plays. The success in that is you don't need to do it all the time. You just need to do it enough that people respect it. Gives you an advantage.
Moving to the line, it was kind of later in my career, about my third year, my redshirt sophomore year. At that point, I just wanted to get on the field. I don't know if I loved it going in, but I accepted it.
Definitely no regrets. Almost wish I would have made the move earlier. I've been too fortunate and had too much success. I'm very grateful that Coach Stoops and Kevin Wilson, they gave me the opportunity.
I kind of had this stereotype in my mind, that to be a lineman and be successful, you had to be 330 pounds. When I made the switch, I was maybe 260 pounds. So I didn't know I was going to be this fortunate. I knew having played tight end, I knew I would have the advantage athletically. But I was concerned I wouldn't be big enough. But with hard work and working with Coach (Jerry) Schmidt and my wife, they did a tremendous job helping me put some pounds on going into the combine. Just getting good weight and working hard. It really paid off.
I give a great deal of credit to my first football coach, Myron Miller, and the work ethic, the approach, he gave to me. He helped me understand what it takes to be successful in football. That you put your nose down and you grind. You just grind and wear people down. I was able to carry that over and have that even further expanded on at Oklahoma, the great work ethic that Coach Stoops and Kevin Wilson and Kevin Sumlin embraced and furthered.
I was a basketball player pretty much all the way through school. I thought I was going to be in the NBA but never got tall enough. I was doing a summer league, going into high school. Coach Miller was in there. He said if you work hard and do what I say and get good grades, you have a good chance to be successful in football. I tried it, and here we are now.
The best aspect of coming up in Tustin, I just saw a lot of good athletes from basketball, from football. I was able to be around a lot of really good athletes. Some guys playing in the NFL now, seeing (former OSU basketball player) Doug Gottlieb come up. We have two or three other guys right now in the NFL. I'm grateful I was able to be around all these great athletes and see what it was like to be able to compete athletically at a high level.
I lost my mother. Going into my redshirt senior year, my mother passed away of a heart attack. Came out of nowhere. Coach Stoops, the whole staff was great. They were really good about letting me go back, make things right at home, being there for my dad. My dad at the time was kind of by himself and it was tough on him. I'm thankful they helped support me in that moment where I could go back and take care of my family.
My brother, he's in jail. We're still in contact. He's working hard to get every thing in line, get his life together.
It's tough. But I know my brother, too, and the way our parents raised us. And that's that you get knocked down, you get back. My brother's a good man. Made some poor decisions at a young age. He has to deal with it. But at the same time, I know the kind of man and the kind of character he has. I'm going to play whatever role I can to help him back on his feet and get his life back in order.
It's been tough at Washington. In general, I really haven't had a lot of bad seasons, besides last year and maybe my second year with the Ravens. I've been fortunate to be pretty successful in most of my football career. It is tough, when things don't quite go the way you want them to go. I think for us, the Redskins, it's good for us to have to deal with the adversity. I think it'll make us a better team in the long run.
I've been around for awhile now. So I know coaching change is just part of the business. You deal with it. At the end of the day, I've got to go out there and block and play football. It's just somebody else telling me how and when to do it.
Both Baltimore and Washington are great, and both cities absolutely love football. It is great to be a part of the history of the Redskins, just because Baltimore's kind of a younger team, as far as franchises. Obviously, they've been very successful and I was glad I was able to be a part of some of that success as well. But I think all the history and all the great players that come through with the history of football, with the Redskins, I'm grateful I get to be a part of it.