Catching up with football, baseball standout Bubba Chandler
Bubba Chandler (pictured left) is a multisport star at North Oconee High School in Bogart, Ga., who is committed to play quarterback for Clemson and expected to suit up for the baseball team as a pitcher and shortstop as well.
The Clemson Insider recently caught up with Chandler, who is currently playing summer baseball with the East Cobb Yankees youth travel team and has performed well so far both at the plate and on the mound.
“It’s going good. Our team’s very good. We’ve got a bunch of high-level guys, won a bunch of games,” Chandler said. “I’m hitting alright. I couldn’t really tell you like averages and stuff. I’ve got a bunch of hits. Pitching, I’ve thrown I think like 12 innings, haven’t given up any runs, had a bunch of strikeouts, topped 95 (miles per hour), all that.”
Meanwhile, Chandler (6-3, 190) has also been working out with his high school football team.
“We have football Monday through Thursday, and I go to pretty much all the workouts,” he said. “So we’re just working out right now, lifting weights, and then we just started this past week putting in plays, installation, doing the position drills, and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays we would go seven-on-seven type stuff.”
Chandler is staying in touch with Clemson head baseball coach Monte Lee and assistant Bradley LeCroy while continuing to communicate with Dabo Swinney, quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter and the football staff as well.
“I talk to Coach Swinney a decent amount and Coach Streeter, I talk to him pretty much every day. He FaceTimed me yesterday with all the offensive guys, and we were just talking it up,” Chandler said. “They’re asking me how my season’s going, how I’m preparing for the upcoming football season if we have one, talking about recruiting, some guys that they’ve offered in the class below us like Jake Johnson, a tight end out of Oconee County, stuff like that.”
Chandler and Johnson, a four-star prospect whom the Tigers offered in June, share the same hometown of Bogart, Ga.
“Me and him are pretty good friends,” Chandler said. “We hang out a little bit.”
As a junior on the gridiron last season, Chandler completed 54 percent of his passes for 1,763 yards and 22 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He also rushed 62 times for 426 yards and three more scores on the ground. As a sophomore on the diamond in 2019, he batted .356 while posting a 7-0 record on the mound with 55 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings.
Heading into his senior football season, Chandler is looking to exploit defenses more with his athleticism as a quarterback. As for baseball, he is working on building up arm strength and being more efficient as a pitcher.
“I can run pretty well on the football field but I don’t do it a lot, and I feel like some games last year I could have really helped my team with my legs if I would have just done it,” he said. “So, this year I’ve been trying to focus on getting faster. I’ve always been decently fast but I’ve never really thought of running, but this year I feel like I’m going to use my legs a lot more and create more things outside of the pocket. And then baseball, I’m just focusing on getting better and getting my arm and body stronger – when I’m pitching, being able to go further into the game and throw less pitches.”
Chandler says when it comes to football and baseball, he doesn’t really favor playing either; instead, he prioritizes football in the fall and baseball in the spring.
“If we’re going to be honest, it’s really just kind of the season that it’s in,” he said when asked if he enjoys football or baseball more. “That’s the one that I’m going to focus on and the one that I love at that time. I mean I love both sports, but if baseball’s going on, I’m not going to devote my time to football, and if football’s going on, I’m not going to devote my time to baseball.”
Chandler is highly regarded in baseball scouting circles, and some pundits think he could be selected as early as the first round of next year’s Major League Baseball draft.
A seven-figure offer to play professional baseball is something Chandler would surely have to consider, but as of now, he is looking forward to being a Clemson Tiger.
“I can’t wait to get up there if I do go,” he said. “It’s going to be fun. It’s always been a dream of mine to play football at the next level, but definitely at Clemson. It’s going to be a fun four years of playing a lot of ball and meeting a lot of different people and having a good time.”
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