Ty Chandler, RB
Last season, Ty Chandler led the Vols in rushing and was arguably the most dynamic player on UT’s offense. The problem was that Tennessee’s offense was one of the worst in the SEC, so Chandler didn’t get much attention.
That could all change in his junior season.
On a limited number of touches last season, Chandler showed off explosive play-making ability and also the ability to fight for yards, displaying more toughness thanks to some added weight. Chandler totaled 630 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 115 attempts, giving him a 5.5 yard per carry average. He also added 19 receptions for 183 yards and three scores. He became the first UT running back ever to catch a touchdown pass in three-straight games, too.
This season, Chandler has a chance to really turn some heads.
Chandler will still split time with fellow junior running back Tim Jordan, and Jeremy Banks, Carlin Fils-aime, and freshman Eric Gray will get touches as well. But Chandler is the real home run threat, and he’s a weapon out of the backfield in the passing game, too.
If Tennessee’s offensive line can improve even slightly (they were the worst run blocking line in the FBS last season), then Chandler has a chance to thrive in Jim Chaney’s offense. Chaney has been able to get a lot out of his running backs at Arkansas and Georgia, and Chandler is the type of versatile back who can be used in multiple roles in a diverse offense.