Tennessee has seen another player land on a prominent award watch list this preseason. Ty Chandler was added to the Doak Walker Award watch list, which is given to the nation’s best running back each year.
Jarrett Guarantano was placed on the Maxwell watch list while Darrell Taylor was placed on the Bednarik watch list earlier this week.
Chandler ran for 630 yards on 115 attempts as a sophomore in 2018. He added 19 catches for 183 yards, scoring seven total touchdowns in the process. Now in his third season, Chandler will get a chance to run behind the most talented offensive line that he’s seen so far at Tennessee. That young group, anchored by a couple of five-star freshmen tackles, will go a long way in determining Tennessee’s offensive success in 2019.
The key for Chandler may be just simply staying healthy. He was knocked out of the season opener against West Virginia, which forced him to miss the next game against ETSU. He was also banged up later in the year, seeing just two carries against Charlotte. Putting an entire season together in 2019 could push Chandler closer to the 1,000 yard mark on the ground.
One thing we didn’t see enough of in 2018 was Chandler working in the passing game. When he was involved, Chandler was really effective in space. However, former offensive coordinator Tyson Helton didn’t do a lot to get him the ball in space in 2018.
So far in 2019, we’ve already seen new offensive coordinator Jim Chaney work Chandler out of the slot a little bit in the spring game, so maybe that’s in the cards for this fall.
However he’s used, Chandler is one of the most dynamic playmakers on this roster. He had runs of 29, 33 and 75 in the final three games of 2018. Hopefully he can build off of that as we head into a new year.