Tennessee needed to add a top-shelf running back and improve in-state recruiting in the 2017 class.
The Vols filled both of those needs on Monday afternoon, when four-star running back Ty Chandler of Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville announced his commitment to Tennessee via 247Sports’ Facebook Live and confirmed it on Twitter.
— Ty Chandler (@Channdler_35) August 15, 2016
Chandler (5-11, 185) is ranked as the No. 56 overall player in the nation, the fifth-best running back in the country and the fourth-best overall player in the state by 247Sports. Chandler is a consensus four-star prospect – earning a four-star ranking from every major recruiting ranking service.
He chose the Vols over an impressive offer list that includes Florida, Ole Miss, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Southern California and several others.
Chandler rushed 347 times for 2,585 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2015, helping lead MBA to a state runner-up finish in DII-AA. He piled up 398 all-purpose yards in MBA’s double-overtime title game loss to Brentwood Academy last season, and was later named Mr. Football (DII–AA back) and the Tennessean’s Football Player of the Year.
Chandler has similar measurables to former Cincinnati and now-NFL back Isaiah Pead, who rushed for 1,259 yards and 12 touchdown for Butch Jones and the Bearcats in 2011.
The Vols are expected to need to replace both Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara following the 2016 season. Both will have eligibility remaining, though both are considered strong candidates to leave early for the NFL Draft. Current sophomore John Kelly, freshman Carlin Fils-Aime and freshman Jeremy Lewis are the only other healthy scholarship backs available on the roster as of now.
‘Athlete’ commitments C.J. Cotman and Trey Coleman both could get a look at running back for the Vols as well.