Nathan Chandler has recently been ranked as the #2 JUCO recruit in the nation by Tom Lemming at ESPN.com. Certainly, a recruit that gains that kind of attention is going to have appeal when making the transfer. However, Nathan is not entering an easy situation with Brad Banks returning at QB.
"Right now, Brad Banks is the starting quarterback," Nathan said. "He earned it last fall and now it will be just my opporunity to come in and work hard this spring. I think the staff hopes that I will give them reason to make a hard decision."
An adjustment for a mid-year transfer can never be easy with all other students already settled in. Nathan has experienced some busy moments so far, but sees the real business and fun coming very soon.
"The first week was very hetic. It was just going all over and filling out papers and forms. I'd be at Student Health, filling out scholarship forms, and etc. Now I'm a little more settled in."
Right now, the coaches are taking vacation after a winter of recruiting frenzy. The coaches are not allowed to watch Nathan go through drills right now, but that has not stopped Nathan from getting to know some of his teammates.
"It is starting to get fun. I'm just mainly working out as we lift four times a week and run twice. I'm throwing and trying to get my arm loose. It is just good to start getting some team chemistry built."
Certainly, Nathan is going to have to take time to learn his receivers and other offensive options. So far, Nathan has liked what he has seen.
"I have been throwing to CJ (Jones) and Mo (Brown) a lot so far. Both of them are real good WR's and definitely an upgrade from the receivers on the JUCO level. They will be two of the top guys in the BigTen, and I've also had a chance to really start throwing with some of the young and upcoming guys."
I speficially asked Nathan what has probably been the biggest adjustment so far for him. It is not something that will catch Hawk fans totally out of surprise.
"I have seen a huge step up in the weight room. It is very structured and you get things done. On the JUCO level, it was everyone does everything on their own. I knew I would be working hard when I got here as the staff does not hide that fact on your official visit. They let you know that you will be working very hard, probably have a harder workout than any other place in the country. It is exciting to see my offensive lineman and skill positions working that hard because you know it is extra incentive for yourself."
Certainly, hard work will pay dividends in the end for Nathan Chandler. It is a little more comforting this spring for Hawk fans knowing there are two QB's on this squad that can take the Hawks to the next level, that being Big Ten contenders.