Soft-spoken Ty Chandler flips switch on Friday nights

Soft-spoken Ty Chandler flips switch on Friday nights

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Soft-spoken Ty Chandler flips switch on Friday nights

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MBA's Ty Chandler has rushed for a Midstate-leading 31 touchdowns this season.

MBA’s Ty Chandler has rushed for a Midstate-leading 31 touchdowns this season.

Montgomery Bell Academy senior Ty Chandler isn’t much of a talker.

When pressed to say a few words — like during Thursday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Tour — the soft-spoken star running back is more than capable of maneuvering his way through the event. But the 5-foot-11, 195-pounder is much more comfortable maneuvering his way through opposing defenses.

“He doesn’t talk a whole lot,” said Ty’s father, Chico Chandler, a former college running back at Ole Miss. “Even at home he doesn’t talk a lot.”

In others words, Chandler prefers the process of earning accolades — like 2015 Division II-AA Mr. Football Back of the Year or 2015 Tennessean Midstate Player of the Year — rather than talking about them.

“He’s just a mild-mannered, humble kid,” Chico said. “He’s all country. Growing up, he used to love riding horses and walking around in cowboy boots. He’s loved football since day one. Ever since he was a little kid he used to run around the yard with a football.”

Chandler, Big Red take down Brentwood Academy
MBA running back Ty Chandler rushed for 341 yards and four touchdowns in Friday’s 31-24 win over Brentwood Academy.
MBA’s Ty Chandler talks track, recruiting
MBA junior Ty Chandler discusses track, football recruiting at the 2016 Doug Hall Relays
Dandy Dozen: No. 2 Ty Chandler of MBA
MBA running back and Tennessee commitment Ty Chandler is No. 2 on this year’s Dandy Dozen
MBA 49, Pearl-Cohn 7
Tennessee commitment Ty Chandler ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns in MBA’s 49-7 win over Pearl-Cohn on Friday.
Ty Chandler commits to Tennessee
MBA running back Ty Chandler committed to play football at Tennessee
MBA’s Ty Chandler on scoring 6 touchdowns against Pearl-Cohn
Montgomery Bell Academy tailback Ty Chandler scored six touchdowns in win over Pearl-Cohn on Friday Sept. 12, 2014.

And while the younger Chandler, a Tennessee commitment and the nation’s fifth-ranked running back according to 247Sports, has since ditched the cowboy boots, his love for football remains unchanged.

Chandler, who grew up in Pleasant View, gravitated toward the game at an early age, playing youth football for the Pleasant View Eagles before enrolling at MBA as a seventh-grader. It didn’t take the future prep star long to realize that he was special.

“I was like, ‘Man, I’m pretty good,’” Chandler said. “I remember talking to my dad when I was young — seeing him play and seeing my uncles play — I wanted to take my game to the next level. I had people telling me that I can do this and I can do that, and I just got it in my mind.

“When I got accepted by the team my freshman year, I’ve never looked back from there.”

In the four years since, Chandler has churned out a 6,614 rushing yards and 99 rushing touchdowns. He currently ranks seventh in Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association history in career rushing yards and second in career rushing touchdowns.

This season, he has racked up 1,718 yards and a Midstate-leading 31 touchdowns, helping lead the Big Red to an 8-2 regular-season record along with a Division II-AA East/Middle Region title.

MBA hosts Christian Brothers (8-3) in the quarterfinals of the TSSAA Division II-AA playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday at Tommy Owen Stadium.

“It’s like a light switch with Ty,” Chico said. “When he’s off the field he has a great personality, but when he steps of the field he just flips it on.”

Reach Michael Murphy at 615-259-8262 and on Twitter @Murph_TNsports.


Year-by-year statistics

2013: 151 carries, 899 yards, 12 touchdowns

2014: 209 carries, 1,428 yards, 22 touchdowns

2015: 347 carries, 2,569 yards, 34 touchdowns

2016: 188 carries, 1,718 yards, 31 touchdowns

Career: 895 carries, 6,614 yards, 99 touchdowns

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Ty Chandler (44) celebrates with MBA fans following the Big Red's regular-season win over Brentwood Academy.

Ty Chandler (44) celebrates with MBA fans following the Big Red’s regular-season win over Brentwood Academy.

Ty Chandler

Ty Chandler

MBA running back Ty Chandler was presented with an honorary U.S. Army All-American jersey on Thursday.

MBA running back Ty Chandler was presented with an honorary U.S. Army All-American jersey on Thursday.

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