The most popular explanation for the Tennessee Vols’ failure to reach a bowl game in 2018 was a lack of talent.
While that explanation is accurate, it doesn’t mean Tennessee’s roster is void of talent.
In fact, they already have an elite offensive player on the roster.
Enter junior running back Ty Chandler.
That’s right. Ty Chandler is elite. And the numbers back it up.
Chandler totaled 813 yards and seven touchdowns from scrimmage last season. Those numbers aren’t eye-popping, but the manner in which he achieved those numbers is what’s impressive.
The Nashville native, according to Pro Football Focus, had the highest receiving grade of any running back in the SEC in 2018.
When it came to catching out of the backfield, no one in the SEC was better than Ty Chandler. He averaged 8.6 yards after the catch per reception and turned in 3 touchdowns through the air. pic.twitter.com/uima6T8eMk
— PFF College (@PFF_College) July 9, 2019
Chandler caught 19 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns.
Moving forward, the Vols need to find more ways to get the ball to Chandler through the air. He’s always a threat to break a long run on the ground, but he’s likely more dangerous through the air. Chandler’s ability to turn a routine catch into a splash play is something that Tennessee must utilize if they’re going to improve on their win total from 2018.
Of course, with Jim Chaney now calling plays for the Vols, I feel confident that fans will be seeing a lot more of Chandler in the passing game.
Remember, it was Chaney who found creative ways to involve Cordarrelle Patterson in Tennessee’s offense in 2012, in what turned out to be a historic offensive season for the Volunteers.
Maybe Chandler can help Tennessee shock the college football world in 2019.
Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports