It’s Clemson. It always had been for North Oconee High School junior Bubba Chandler. Since he was a freshman helping out on the scout team for the Titans playing football at Clemson University has been his dream.
He’s amended the dream in recent years as the Tigers have become even more of a national powerhouse than they were in 2016, Chandler’s freshman season. He now wants to playing winning football at Clemson University.
Head coach Dabo Swinney has led the Tigers to five straight College Football Playoff appearances. Clemson owns two national championships in that time.
Wednesday, Chandler joined Swinney on a Zoom call to inform him he was pledging to the Tigers almost two weeks to the day when Swinney upturned Chandler’s recruitment with a late night call and scholarship offer that he couldn’t refuse.
“I told my friends back before we were even on the field for North Oconee what I wanted to do when we were just little freshmen,” Chandler said. “I always said that if I was going to go play football in college it would be at Clemson and now I have the opportunity to do that.”
Following his initial offer from the Tigers on May, 8 Chandler got a flurry of interest from other Division I schools. His status on the recruiting map has taken leaps and bounds in the last few weeks.
“I’m a three-star now,” Chandler said with a laugh.
Over the last two weeks offers from the University of Miami, the University of Louisville as well as the University of Mississippi have rolled in. All of the offers afforded him the chance to play football and baseball.
The Clemson offer stood above them all. The spotlight that comes with playing the position at in the national eye isn’t intimidating to Chandler. He’s known as one of the loudest voices in the locker room or dugout. He likes having the ball in his hands whether it’s on the football field or on the baseball field.
Chandler loves to win and jumps at the opportunity to challenge a few familiar faces at the highest levels of college football one day.
Former Oconee County High School quarterback Max Johnson and Prince Avenue Christian School quarterback Brock Vandagriff will both be heading to Power Five schools in the next year. Johnson has already enrolled at LSU, while Vandagriff is a University of Georgia commit.
“I love being in the spotlight if it’s in a football game, baseball game, basketball game or hanging out at a party or anything,” Chandler said. “I just like being the center of attention. There’s no better place to do it than at Clemson... You can see year in and year out at the highest level of football and they’re competing for a national championship every year. I want to be a part of that. I want to win a natty. I want to be a starting quarterback and win a national championship. I want to be playing Max Johnson or Brock Vandagriff in a college football playoff game in a few years.”
Chandler hasn’t been on the football-recruiting scene for long. For much of the last two years Chandler has been committed to UGA to play baseball.
That commitment changed nearly over night following Clemson’s offer for Chandler. Baseball is still very much in the picture for Chandler as he would play for Clemson should he reach campus.
There’s a number in his head that could keep Chandler off Clemson’s campus in the fall of 2021. Chandler has aspirations of being selected very early in the 2021 MLB Amateur Draft.
Getting drafted out of high school remains high on his priority list even attached to his college football and baseball commitment.
“I truly believe in my head that the first goal that I have is getting drafted out of high school and I don’t really care what round it is,” Chandler said.
Chandler feels fortunate to have some many options with an entire year still remaining in his high school career.
“I’m blessed,” Chandler said. “God blessed me with a few talents that slim to none have in this world. I have great opportunities to do some great things. I want to do my best to fulfill the talents that the good Lord gave me.”