College Spotlight: Caleb Chandler Enters 2021 With All-ACC Hype

Jefferson native Caleb Chandler enters the 2021 season with high expectations. He is listed by some publications as a Third Team All-ACC honoree. This comes on the heels of a second straight season in which he was the full-time starter at left guard.

“It’s a good feeling,” says Chandler of the honor. “It’s nice knowing when people recognize your game and the hard work you’ve put in.”

Chandler got in 2 games during his true freshman 2017 season, appeared in 5 games as a redshirt freshman in 2018, then became the starter in all 13 games in 2019 as a redshirt sophomore. Last season as a redshirt junior, he logged 11 starts, and enters 2021 with his redshirt junior status still intact due to NCAA’s COVID eligibility decision. It didn’t happen overnight, but Chandler’s become a leader due to his hard work, dedication, and perseverance.

“It was go time when I earned the starting spot,” says Chandler. “I knew I was ready for it, had great teammates around me that made me even better! And how did it feel? Honestly…relief! Used to being the big dawg…my whole life. But I had to adjust and keep going until it was my turn. Learned a lot through the process.”

The offensive lineman has played in many big games, notably against ACC’s powerhouse team Clemson, over the past several years. One moment stands apart for him.

“I have a few good ones, but I can say the Music City Bowl win over Mississippi State is probably my favorite memory,” recalls Chandler. “The turnaround that year…man what a time!”

The expectations are higher than ever for the former Dragons standout, who no doubt puts more pressure on himself than anyone else could.

“I have a few personal goals as in All-Conference and [other things],” says Chandler. “But I’ll sacrifice all of that for an ACC Championship! Finishing people and winning that title are my main goals for this season.”

Many who face adversity in the way of having to wait for playing time go elsewhere or quit. Chandler believes firmly in hard work and waiting for your time to shine.

“Keep grinding guys,” offers Chandler to high school players who might be close to giving up when it’s not going their way. “There’s no one out there that can stop you…but you. The journey isn’t going to be 100% smooth, but it will be worth it. Don’t ever give up! Your day could be tomorrow.”

At the moment, Chandler hasn’t thought about whether this season is his last, or if he’ll use the extra year of eligibility for next season too.

“My focus has been on this upcoming season and this team now,” adds Chandler. “Time will tell.”

Chandler was a 4-star recruit from Jefferson, listed by ESPN as the #33 offensive guard in the nation, #40 by 247 Sports, and the #40 overall player in Georgia. He was ranked as the #3 guard in the state and the #25 OG nationally by Scout.com, and was a Rivals 3-star recruit. He was a key piece to the Jefferson semifinals 2016 team that had won the region championship and were ranked #3 in the state. He was an All-State honoree by the AJC and an All-Region honoree. He played both ways, tallying 34 tackles and 3 sacks on defense as a senior, and 11 tackles as a junior. He was a 3-time All-State member, and had offers from Louisville, Florida, Georgia Tech, Miami, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia.

College Spotlight Framed Print (11×17) – Caleb Chandler

College Spotlight Framed Print (11×17) – Caleb Chandler

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