That figures to change in the near future for the Montgomery Bell Academy standout and TSSAA Division II Class AA state champion.
The sophomore running back made his way to Knoxville for the Orange & White game for his “first visit in awhile” after seeing the Volunteers play Alabama at Neyland Stadium back on Oct. 25.
“It was just a great time, just seeing all the fans there to support Tennessee,” Chandler said. “They’re building a good program. It was great.
“It was good (attendance) obviously for a spring game. I felt like it was pretty good.”
Chandler spent time with Tennessee coaches while in town for the spring finale.
“I’ll definitely be back. It was a great visit. I had a great time,” he said.
“I can tell they’re on the rise, just the atmosphere and the people just wanting to be here and the recruits coming in. They’ve got something good going.”
As is often the case with most top prospects, the late April trip included a discussion with head coach Butch Jones.
“I did get to talk to coach Jones. Just how much the program loves me, how they want me and how I can fit in,” Chandler said.
Tennessee coaches, namely recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Robert Gillespie, speak with the Nashville resident weekly.
“Coach G, he’s a great man,” the Class of 2017 prospect said. “He’s doing great things with Jalen (Hurd) and all the other great running backs coming in. He’s a good dude.
|Tennessee assistant coach Robert Gillespie|
“I just like how he’s honest. He tells you how it is and how it’s going to be and what to expect when you get here. I like that about him.”
The schools recruiting Chandler (five offers) the hardest are Ole Miss and Tennessee, he said. As far as a declaration goes, the runner added that he is “probably going to wait until my senior year but you never know. If something happens then it just happens.”
The prospect’s father handed down sound advice to help decide between many top tier programs.
“My Dad tells me, ‘Just make the best decision for you and somewhere you can call home.’ That’s what I’m trying to do, just taking it all in and accepting what I get.”
One of Tennessee’s most talented rising sophomores is Jashon Robertson, who lettered for four years at Montgomery Bell Academy. The Big Red pipeline to Knoxville could be fruitful for the Big Orange.
“I have some former teammates, people I played with here playing,” Chandler said. “They say it’s a great place, where you want to be and they speak highly of it.
“It’s very neat to see (Robertson) out there and to say I played with him and we were on the same team — and Derek Barnett, I played against him and those guys (at Brentwood Academy).”
In 2014, the sophomore totaled 1,450 yards from scrimmage with 23 touchdowns. He also averaged 28.4 yards per kickoff return, including a 77-yard score.
“It’s been great,” Chandler said of having the gold ball reside at MBA. “Just to be able to say you won state is awesome. And the guys that won it with you, you’ll remember it forever.”