- ESPN staff writer
- Joined ESPN in 2011
- Graduated from Central Michigan
Clemson added a quarterback commitment Wednesday from a player who, nearly two weeks ago, was committed to Georgia to play baseball and didn’t have any FBS scholarship offers.
Bubba Chandler, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound prospect from Bogart, Georgia, loved football but figured his future was in baseball and had been committed to play that sport for the Bulldogs.
That is until May 7 when he got a phone call from the Clemson coaches.
“It started a few weeks ago, when my coach called me and said Brandon Streeter is about to call you,” Chandler said. “I said, ‘Who is that?’ and he said it’s Clemson’s offensive coordinator. I was like, oh, OK. I knew they were recruiting another kid at quarterback, so I didn’t really think I was going to get the offer, but it happened.”
Chandler didn’t expect interest from Clemson partially because the Tigers had never come to his school to evaluate him and he had never been on an actual recruiting visit on campus. He was on campus during the 2018 season when his friend, Clemson tight end J.L. Banks, got him tickets to a game.
Chandler got to see the facilities and the locker room and watch the game, but he didn’t have much interaction with the coaches until these past few weeks.
“[The Clemson coaches] just watched my film, a lot of my Twitter videos, and I talked with the coaches pretty much every day on the phone,” Chandler said. “Then, of course, our high school head coach knows [Clemson safeties coach] Mickey Conn pretty well. Clemson’s coaches asked our head coach about me, my character, and I guess they liked what they heard.”
Once news got out that Clemson had offered, he received offers from Miami, Louisville, Ole Miss and Washington State, among a few others.
Chandler has been playing baseball and football since around 7 or 8 years old and will get the opportunity to play both at Clemson. He has played shortstop and pitcher, and after playing running back, fullback and middle linebacker, he switched to quarterback in middle school.
He is a multisport athlete who says he can handle himself on the golf course and has even tweeted out videos of himself dunking a basketball. He threw for 2,098 yards on 167-of-220 passing with 27 touchdowns and ran for 505 yards and four touchdowns last season for his high school team.
The scholarship offer came as a surprise to Chandler and might be a product of the recruiting landscape during the coronavirus pandemic. But when the offer came through, Chandler knew almost immediately this was the route he wanted to go.
“They’re going to develop me into the best player I can be in both sports,” Chandler said. “They have a chance to compete for a national championship every year. I’ve always wanted to play football in college, and what better place to play football than at Clemson?”
With a shortened courtship and no in-person interaction, Chandler has grown fond of the Tigers program and the coaches through digital communication. He speaks highly of coach Dabo Swinney and his character and believes the family atmosphere at Clemson will suit him well.
The list of quarterbacks to pick Clemson in the past few years is impressive. It includes D.J. Uiagalelei, the No. 1-ranked pocket-passing quarterback in the 2020 class; Taisun Phommachanh, the No. 9-ranked pocket-passer in the 2019 class, and current starter Trevor Lawrence, who was part of the 2018 class.
Chandler, a prospect who wasn’t even a prospect two weeks ago, now gets to add his name to that group.
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