New team: North Carolina Tar Heels
Once again, Tennessee football could have done worse than losing Ty Chandler when you consider his profile. He was the No. 2 running back on last year’s team, and he only has one year of eligibility left. As a result, while Josh Heupel wants to have a solid first year, if Chandler was the only player he lost, it wouldn’t have been a huge deal.
However, given the other losses we’re about to name, Chandler’s departure is a big deal. He was the Vols’ top offensive producer in 2018 and their top rusher in 2019. Last year, he was their second most valuable offensive producer.
At 5’11” 205 pounds, Chandler had 421 carries for 2,046 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground over four years on Rocky Top while catching 58 passes for 465 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran a kickoff back for a touchdown back in 2017.
Simply put, Chandler is an elite back in open space with the ball in his hands. However, more importantly, he’s a team guy who was always able to pick up blocking schemes, regardless of who the offensive coordinator was. That is crucial to Heupel’s system, and it makes his departure even tougher to deal with.