By Chase Cardoza, UTAD Media Relations Intern
After a long offseason, University of Tennessee junior running back Ty Chandler and the Vols are glad to be back on the gridiron.
With new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, the Tennessee offense has had a strong showing so far this spring. Chandler attributes the fast start in spring ball to the offense buying in to what Chaney is teaching.
“It’s just showing that everyone had bought in,” Chandler said. “We are trying to learn all of the installs. We are trying to get everything that we need to be successful on the field. Everyone is trying to learn their jobs and assignments to go out there and execute.”
Tennessee’s leading rusher from the 2018 season is looking to build off of his stellar sophomore campaign. Chandler led the team with 630 rushing yards on 115 carries, with an impressive rushing average of 5.5 yards per carry while rushing for four touchdowns.
The two-time Tennessee Mr. Football award winner has already posted some eye-popping stats early on in his career. Last season, Chandler became the first Vol running back ever to record a receiving touchdown in three consecutive games. He was also the first Tennessee player since LaMarcus Coker in 2006 to record two runs of 75 yards or more in a single season.
The Montgomery Bell Academy graduate suffered from the normal wear and tear that comes with being a running back in the SEC in 2018. This season Chandler is looking to minimize his time off the field, having working hard in the weight room with strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald throughout the offseason.
“I hate missing time throughout the season,” Chandler said. “Hopefully that won’t happen again. We are focused on this year and we are ready to start moving forward. I have been in the weight room a lot with Coach Fitzgerald. He has been helping us try to develop our bodies and get bigger, faster and stronger. I feel like that can help prevent injuries.”
The rising junior has been working hard this offseason and has some high expectations going into this year.
“I want to improve my vision, balance and speed,” Chandler said. “I want to develop my body more. I want to go out there and take my game to the next level. Like I said, I want to get better every day when we go out there. I have other great competitors in the room who are all going to pick my brain and we are going to keep pushing each other to get better.”
Building off of last season, Chandler is looking to become the Vols’ sixth 1,000-yard rusher since 2007 to join the likes of recent Tennessee standouts and eventual NFL running backs, Arian Foster and Montario Hardesty.