Chad Simmons

Four-Star Caleb Chandler On the Rise

Caleb Chandler's stock continues to rise. The Gators are among the latest to offer the four-star offensive tackle. Chandler discusses the latest in his recruitment and more with Scout.

Caleb Chandler's stock is on the rise. The four-star offensive tackle holds offers from Georgia State, Iowa State, Louisville, Mercer, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Tulane, Charlotte, Texas-San Antonio, Central Michigan and more recently Florida and Virginia Tech

"It's starting to take off," said the four-star offensive tackle. "I didn’t expect this to happen when I moved back to Jefferson, so I’m really blessed." 

Chandler hails from Jefferson, Georgia. A city in Jackson County that houses about 10,000 residents. 

"It's crazy, the whole town has been going crazy about it," he said.  " I’m just pretending to be cool about it when I’m actually thrilled about it.  It's crazy." 

"I went into Walmart the other day and some random people came up to me and were like, “Hey, are you Caleb Chandler?” and I was like, “Yes sir, yes sir, I am.” And he said, “Keep going to school, keep the dream alive, you seem like a good guy and I heard about all the offers.” 

The Gators are the latest to offer, however, Chandler had already established a relationship with offensive line coach, Mike Summers, before UF extended the scholarship offer. 

"Me and Coach Summers have been talking since January." said Chandler. "He told me they would be recruiting me, and they liked my size and what I did my sophomore year, and they were looking forward to recruiting me." 

The 6-foot-5, 302-pounder has already started to research The Swamp and what the university has to offer. 

 "It’s a great place to get and education in whatever I want to major in," he said.  "That’s my big concern, getting and education.  The campus is a beautiful place."

 One day after picking up an offer from Florida, Chandler saw an offer from the Hokies. 

"They started recruiting me once they got to Virginia Tech. We talked pretty much every day.  So, I was expecting and offer from Virginia Tech,  but not today, it was shocking that it came today."

At this moment, the Jefferson High standout sees a few schools recruiting him the hardest. 

 "Florida, Iowa State, Mississippi State, Colorado State, and University of San Antonio, all of those schools have shown me that they want me, that they are very excited about me," he said. "They feel like I can be a huge and key component to the offensive line and to the team and go when some championships." 

Although the 2017 tackle already has a number of offers, the number could increase this spring. 

"Georgia, Georgia Tech and Tennessee [are all showing interest]. We talk almost every single day, especially with Tennessee.  I had a visit up to Tennessee during football season, and I loved every single bit of it up there.  I am expecting an offer, but I don’t know if its going to be soon."

 His most recent visit was to Athens to see the Bulldogs. 

"When I was little, my whole family and town were Georgia Bulldog fans, so I grew up a Georgia Bulldog fan, but I never told myself that I’d go play for the Bulldogs one day," he said.

Actually, when he was younger Chandler didn't even like football. His goal was to play in the MLB for the Atlanta Braves. However, after his body began to grow, Jefferson football head coach, Ben Hall, approached Chandler. 

"I started sophomore year and I had a pretty good year," he said.  "Then I started growing up a little bit, started getting taller and bigger.  I had a pretty good season this past season…and that’s when all those schools started talking to me, they saw my film."

Chandler is currently in the middle of baseball season, so visits to schools will be hard. However, he is expecting to take a few visits in the summer.  

"I'm going to San Antonio, Florida, Colorado State," he said. "I want to see the campus, and talk to the coaches in person. I want to talk to some of the players, see if the best schools can give me the education I want, because, of course, education comes first.

"After football season I don’t know if I want to stay close to home or go experience something new somewhere else," he added.  "I’m going to decide on that towards the end of football season."

 UPDATE: Purdue offered Chandler on Monday. 

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