BOGART, Ga. – Clemson four-star quarterback commitment Bubba Chandler and his North Oconee (Bogart, Ga.) squad trailed by 28 points at halftime of their game against Benedictine (Savannah, Ga.) on Friday night but never gave up and came close to completing a second-half comeback.
North Oconee scored 28 points in the final two quarters — thanks in large part to three touchdown passes from Chandler — and the Titans were driving late in the game with a chance to cut their deficit to one score but ultimately fell short in a 49-35 loss to the Cadets.
The Clemson Insider was on location at North Oconee High School to watch Chandler play as part of our Tour of Champions and caught up with the future Tiger afterward.
North Oconee dropped to 0-4 with Friday’s loss, but Chandler believes his team’s resilient second-half effort will serve as a turning point for the rest of its season.
“This was a big game for us,” Chandler said. “We showed what we can do on offense. Our defense is going to get better. We’re going to be a different team now.”
Overall, Chandler threw for four touchdowns – passes of 5, 23, 40 and 63 yards – but wasn’t concerned with his statistics when asked about his strong individual performance after the game.
“I don’t care about any of that, I just care about winning,” he said.
Chandler, who committed to Clemson in May, will not only play football for the Tigers but is also expected to suit up for Monte Lee’s baseball program as a pitcher.
The talented athlete knows it won’t be easy to perform at a high level in both sports at the next level, but is looking to seek advice from former Tiger two-sport standout Kyle Parker in order to give him a better chance to do so.
“I want to talk to Kyle Parker,” Chandler said. “I know he did it and did a good job with it, so I want to get in touch with him.”
Parker is still the only Division I athlete to throw 20 touchdown passes and hit 20 home runs in the same academic year.
“Man, that’s strong,” Chandler said of that accomplishment.
Chandler will be the latest in a line of Peach State signal-callers to play for Clemson, of course following Trevor Lawrence and Deshaun Watson.
Lawrence and Chandler have gotten to know each other a little bit and become friends.
“I have talked with Trevor some,” Chandler said. “We have a good relationship.”
Chandler, a former Georgia baseball pledge, decommitted from the Bulldogs four days after receiving an offer from the Clemson football program on May 7 and then committed to the Tigers less than two weeks after they offered.
Living less than 30 minutes from Athens, Chandler didn’t catch as much flak as he thought he might after spurning UGA for Dabo Swinney’s program.
“I was actually surprised,” Chandler said. “When I decommitted from Georgia, I didn’t get as much grief as I thought I was going to get.”
As for the future of the Bulldogs’ football program, Chandler feels they will be in good shape with Bogart (Ga.) Prince Avenue Christian five-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff on their commitment list for the 2021 class.
“Brock has got things kind of nailed down there at Georgia,” Chandler said.
Meanwhile, the 15 commitments in Clemson’s 2021 class — which is currently the No. 5 class in the country according to the 247Sports Composite rankings — are already building a strong bond before they even step foot on campus next year.
“The class is real close,” Chandler said, “and we FaceTime each other all the time.”
Chandler had been hoping to make his first recruiting visit to Clemson this year, but unfortunately for him and other prospects wanting to check out colleges, the NCAA dead period was recently extended through Jan. 1.
“I was real disappointed in that,” Chandler said. “I really wanted to get up there. Hopefully they’ll change that, but I was definitely disappointed.”
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