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Five questions with UGA TE Chandler. He is on Mackey Award Watch List.


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Five questions with TE Chandler

By CHIP TOWERS

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 08/01/08

Tripp Chandler didn't get a lot of love from the recruiting websites before the end of his senior season in high school. Until then his claim to fame was being named first-team all-county by the Cherokee Tribune in both football and basketball. But Chandler, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound tight end from Woodstock, is getting the last laugh now. Entering his senior season, he is slated to start for the second straight year and he has been tabbed as a leader on a team many believe will be a championship contender this fall. On Friday, he was put on the John Mackey Award watch list, which is awarded to college football's best tight end. AJC staff writer Chip Towers visited with Chandler recently for a series we call "Five Questions."

Q: How will being preseason No. 1 affect your season?

A: Being preseason No. 1 is a great honor but it's postseason No. 1 that we want to be. Preseason No. 1 means nothing as far as what we do during the season. We're still going to go out and work hard because we know we haven't done anything yet. For us, I don't think it's going to affect us being No. 1 or No. 7 or No. 20. We're going to play hard and try to defend our turf when we're at home and win on the road when we're away whether we're No. 1 or not. It's not going to change how hard we play.

Q: Do you see the great expectations for this season to be a burden or a boost?

A: I guess it could be considered pressure and it could get to some people. But I think I can speak for my teammates when I say this is what you dream about being a part of. You ask any guy on this team: They came to Georgia to be part of a national championship and to be in the position that we are in. We have a great team and we're ready to work hard and go out and test ourselves against the probably the hardest schedule ever. Each and every team we play has tons of talent and has the ability to beat us. We know each week is going to be a fight and that's why we've been working so hard every day since last season, to get ready for that.

Q: Think you guys have what it takes?

A: We definitely have a lot of talent, as much talent as a team as we've had since I've been. But if you don't have the chemistry that can gel a team, you're not going to win. Now is when you develop that chemistry. ... There's definitely a buzz about the season and what we have the potential of achieving. We know it's there for us but that it's also far, far away. So we're not thinking about the national championship. We're thinking about getting our bodies ready for the season.

Q: Football used to be a seasonal sport. Now it seems you guys work year 'round. You ever long for a summer off?

A: Nah. I graduated high school, took a little deep sea fishing trip and three days later I was in college. So this is my fourth summer in a row. It's a grind because you're working hard every day and your body is taking a beating. But it's a good time at the same time because you're here with your best friends, your brothers, the guys you want to be around. If we weren't here working out we'd be somewhere else together because we enjoy each other's company. And this is what we love to do. Football is a fun sport; there are a lot of different things that we love about it. But you have to work hard to be good at it.

Q: You can't be all work all the time. What do you do for fun?

A: I watch a lot of movies. I'm a huge movie buff. If I get one and I like it, I might watch it 10 times in a row. I memorize every word from beginning to end. I probably have like 500 movies at my house. Guys are always coming over to watch them. Knowshon [Moreno] likes to watch movies, too, so he'll come over two or three times a week and hang out.

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