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Tennessee running back announces transfer destination

Photo By Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

Tennessee transfer running back Ty Chandler has announced he will transfer to North Carolina to play his final season of college football. Chandler reportedly entered the transfer portal last week.

“I would like to think the University of Tennessee and the Vol Nation community for supporting me during my years at UTK,” Chandler said on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. “I am thankful for the athletic and academic departments that allowed me to learn both physically and academically. I have gained friendships and experiences that will be with me always.

“With that being said, I have decided to use my last eligibility year to grad transfer to the University of North Carolina. I look forward to the journey that I’m about to go on and friendships that I will make with my new teammates. 2021 is going to be a special season in Chapel Hill and I can’t wait to begin to work.”

Chandler played in 45 games and made 25 starts during his Tennessee career. He totaled 2,015 rushing yards and finishes ranked fifth in UT history in all-purpose yards with 3,245. Chandler tallied 17 career touchdowns by rushing for 13, catching three and returning one.

As a senior this past season, Chandler rushed for 456 yards and four touchdowns on 100 carries. He averaged 4.56 yards per carry while catching 16 passes for 111 yards.

Chandler signed with the Vols as a four-star prospect out of Nashville in the class of 2017. He played at Montgomery Bell Academy where he was ranked a top-100 player, the fifth-best running back in the country and the fifth-best player in the state of Tennessee.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder appeared in all 12 games, making one start as a true freshman. He carried the ball 71 times in 2017 for 305 yards and two touchdowns, ranking fourth in the SEC and 26th nationally with a 26.1 kickoff return average. Chandler made first-career start and scored his first-career touchdown by returning the opening kickoff 91 yards vs. Indiana State. He then rushed for 120 yards on 22 carries and two rushing scores at Kentucky later on in the seas in the absence of John Kelly.

Chandler won the Offensive Player of the Year award at Tennessee’s end-of-year banquet in 2018 for his performance as a sophomore. He led the Vols in rushing with 630 yards on 115 carries (5.5 ypc) and scored a team-high seven touchdowns (four rushing and three receiving). He tied for team lead in touchdown receptions and ranked fourth in receptions (19) and receiving yards (183).

The mid-state native became the first Vol since LaMarcus Coker in 2006 to record two runs of 75 or more yards in the same season, rushing for touchdowns of 81 and 75 yards. Chandler was the first Vol running back to record a touchdown catch in three-straight games in program history and had 80+ rushing yards in each of the final three games of the season.

Chandler led the Vols in rushing for the second straight season as a junior in 2019. Starting nine games and appearing in all contests, he finished with 655 yards and three touchdowns on 135 carries (4.9 ypc). He added 13 receptions for 63 yards and had a 22.8 kick return average as UT’s primary kick-off returner .

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