Tennessee will soon need a tailback to replace rising juniors Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara. The duo will either depart early for the NFL after the 2016 season or eventually run out of eligibility. Ty Chandler would fit in quite nicely.
The four-star running back from Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville, Tenn.) is being recruited by Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie, who just happens to be one of the Vols’ top recruiters. Gillespie has already made an impression.
“He’s a really straight forward guy,” said Chandler, who is rated the nation’s No. 5 running back and No. 5 overall prospect in the state of Tennessee for 2017. “He tells you like it is. He is someone I like.”
Chandler, who visited Tennessee on Saturday, left Knoxville, Tenn., impressed. He’s not willing to name leaders, but the Vols are strongly in the running.
“I would say it’s one of my favorite schools I’ve been to on a visit but, honestly, I haven’t been to too many places yet,” the 5-foot-11, 190-pound prospect said.
Chandler was one of many in-state prospects to give the Vols rave reviews on their first junior day of the year this past weekend.
“It was a great time,” Chandler said. “It was a great visit. There were a lot of great recruits there so that was good to see, a lot of in-state guys.”
The message from Tennessee’s coaches was clear. Chandler said the Vols hope to lock down in-state prospects in order to build a foundation that will help them reach into other states.
“That was pretty much what they preached,” Chandler said. “They preached on getting the in-state guys to come, in order to get other guys to come.”
Chandler said that in-state pride could play a factor in his recruitment. He also said he planned on playing in the SEC. The Vols don’t offer him the only option. Florida and Auburn have both extended recent scholarship offers. Chandler said he doesn’t know much about either school but would like to visit both, although no trips are currently planned.
“As of right now, I’m just kind of playing everything out and seeing how things go,” he said.
Chandler said he’d like to announce his final decision before his senior season. That would seem to leave the Vols in good shape, as long as they can continue to tug on those in-state heart strings.
All player ranking and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.