VFL Kennedy Chandler went through all of the emotions while watching Tennessee take on Florida last Saturday.
During the Memphis Grizzlies’ media day on Monday, the former Volunteer and NBA rookie spoke about his reaction to Tennessee’s win.
Chandler began by talking about the connection and relationship he has with Tennessee Football’s Jabari Small and Omari Thomas before moving on to the final minute of the game.
“My two best friends play football there,” Chandler said. “Jabari Small, No. 2, the running back. Him and Omari Thomas, the [defensive] tackle – the one that forced that fumble. They went to Briarcrest [Christian Academy] so I’ve known them since, like, second grade. I’ve grown up with them my whole entire life so I knew I had to lock in and watch them play.”
When Florida kicked and recovered the onside kick with less than a minute remaining, Chandler says he had to turn off the TV because he was so nervous. But, like any Tennessee fan, he was still hooked and turned it right back on.
“I turned the TV off and I was like, ‘Man!'” Chandler said with a laugh. “Then when I saw [Anthony Richardson] throw that pass with zero seconds on the clock I was like, ‘Please don’t go in the endzone!”
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Fortunately for Tennessee, that final pass from Richardson did not go into the endzone. Instead, it went into the hands of Tennessee defensive back Kamal Hadden to seal with victory for the Vols.
“Luckily, you know, we’re [No.] 8 in the country now,” Chandler said. “We’re moving up! We’ve got LSU at LSU, so, that’s going to be a tough one right there.”
While he has known Thomas and Small for his whole life, Chandler and Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker didn’t cross paths while they were both students at Tennessee. Instead, it wasn’t until this past summer that the two met when Chandler came back for a quick visit.
“Cool, cool dude,” Chandler said about Hooker. “They say he watches a lot of film. He watches a lot of film. So he’s a very good football player, good quarterback.”
While Kennedy Chandler was watching in Memphis, Tennessee brought back three former Volunteers to be honored during one of the timeouts during the game. Tennessee recognized Jaden Spring, Jordan McRae, and Grant Williams for their time in Knoxville.
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