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.”
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.”
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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