MBA's Ty Chandler commits to Tennessee

Ty Chandler

Ty Chandler

One of the top running back recruits in the country, Montgomery Bell Academy senior Ty Chandler, committed to play football at Tennessee on Monday.

Montgomery Bell Academy senior running back Ty Chandler committed to Tennessee on Monday.

Montgomery Bell Academy senior running back Ty Chandler committed to Tennessee on Monday.

Chandler, the reigning DII-AA Mr. Football Back of the Year and The Tennesean’s 2015 Player of the Year, chose the Volunteers over scholarship offers from eight other Southeastern Conference programs in addition to Duke, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC.

“Why not Tennessee?” Chandler said. “I just felt like it’s a great opportunity, and an opportunity to possibly come in and play as a freshman. Staying close to home and being able to have family come to games was important.”

The 5-foot-11.5, 195-pound Chandler, a four-star prospect and the nation’s sixth-ranked running back according to 247Sports, carried the ball a state-leading 347 times for 2,585 yards and 34 touchdowns a season ago, helping lead the Big Red to an 11-2 record and second straight BlueCross Bowl appearance.

“It was a difficult decision,” said Chandler, whose top seven schools also included Auburn, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State and Ole Miss. “I just thought about some things and tried to figure out what situation would work best for me. It wasn’t until recently I found out what I wanted to do.”

As a junior in 2014, Chandler, a four-year starter, racked up 1,348 yards and 22 scores while helping lead MBA to its first state football championship since 2007.

“He’s always been level-headed so I wasn’t really worried about it,” MBA coach Marty Euverard said. “It’s what he wanted to do, he’s done it and hopefully now he’s got that out of the way and can concentrate on having a great season.

“I think (Tennessee is) going to get one heck of a football player, and an even better person.”

Contributing: Craig Harris. Reach Michael Murphy at 615-259-8262 and on Twitter @Murph_TNsports

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