Cole Chancey, a Commerce native, is on the brink of history for Harding University. The junior is perhaps just a carry or two away from eclipsing 3,000 rushing yards, which is a feat only twice before accomplished in the program’s history, which dates back to 1924.
A three-year starter, in itself a rarity, Chancey as recently as last Saturday, put up a career-best performance. Forget the fact that he has 10 100-yard games to his credit for the Bisons. His numbers in Saturday’s 50-33 win at Oklahoma Baptist were more than mind-boggling. The running back carried the rock 19 times for 233 yards and 2 TD, averaging 12.3 yards per tote. That included a 75-yard scoring run in the win.
“It’s one you always hope for come Saturday,” says Chancey. “As great as the experience is, it really just makes you realize more than ever how much the guys in front/around you mean. Without them I’m nothing, I’m so thankful and blessed with the guys I play with. They deserve the credit.”
Chancey’s humbleness is part of the recipe for his success. So is hard work and experience. Chancey is in the midst of what might be his best season yet. The 2018 All-American had one of the best seasons in Bison history as a freshman, rushing for 1,347 yards (2nd best in Bison history) and 15 TD. That year, he averaged 5.3 yards per carry and 89.8 per game.
His sophomore campaign saw his workload decrease a bit, down to 191 carries, but the production was fairly similar (5.0 YPC) to the tune of 961 yards and 14 TD. He rushed for 80.1 yards per contest.
In his junior year – albeit just 6 games in – he is on pace to crush his freshman numbers. Chancey has 685 rushing yards on 120 attempts (5.7 YPC), adding 4 TD. He’s been good for 114.2 yards per game so far.
Chancey has 2,993 rushing yards, which sits third in Bison history. The record is 4,214 set by Alan Dixon (’70-’73) which Chancey can pass if he stays healthy through his senior year. His 33 TD also has him in third, needing one to tie Dixon, and 12 to tie Park Parish’s mark set in 2016.
“Of course it would be a great feeling and accomplishment, but those aren’t the goals,” says Chancey on potentially setting program rushing records one day. “A win each week is the main focus, and that’s for the real goal.. a National Championship! Continuing on that, I love the blocking aspect and I’d do anything for the guys around me to give us success… I would be perfectly fine blocking a whole game without running.”
Chancey’s 233 last week is the fourth-most ever for a Bisons player, and twice in his career he has 4 rushing TD in a game, which is a program record equaled a total of 6 times.
To Chancey’s point, winning is everything for the Bisons. Part of what fuel’s the current #20 team in the nation’s desire to win goes back to falling in the national semifinals in 2017, when Chancey put up his ridiculous freshman numbers.
“It was exciting to say the least,” says Chancey on playing in the semifinals a couple of years ago. “However, each year it’s not a good feeling knowing you’re the best team and should’ve won it. Things happen and don’t go your way, but yes it contributes to a big motivation. We have special coaches and players to once again be the best and achieve that goal. We just focus on us and getting better each week with the details and every phase or rep. By doing that, the rest will take care of itself, and we will get what we deserve.”
Chancey, a former Tiger, is used to winning and playing team ball from his time at Commerce. His experience in high school helped mold him into the player and person he is today.
“A big part I must say,” says Chancey on how much Commerce helped him build a foundation. “I was surrounded by great people, mentors, coaches, and teammates. The offense being the same as what I ran in high school did me well of course, in many ways.”
At Commerce from 2013-16, Chancey, a BLITZ Hall of Famer, racked up 3,644 rushing yards and 44 TD, adding 100-plus tackles and 5 interceptions on the other side of the ball.
Chancey and the Bisons return to the gridiron on Saturday, October 19 against Great American Conference foes Southwestern Oklahoma at home. Harding is 5-1 in an all-conference slate heading into the showdown with SW Oklahoma.
College Spotlight Graphic (Framed) – Cole Chancey
College Spotlight Graphic (Framed) - Cole Chancey