• Height: 5-fooot-10
• Weight: 177 pounds
• College interest: He has offers from Tennessee Tech and Mercer, while UTC and MTSU also are interested.
Chandler Curtis has been playing football in Gordon County all his life, but this summer he literally found himself having to play catch-up to get ready for his senior season.
Curtis was a very productive player the past two seasons at Gordon Central, starting at receiver and cornerback while also excelling on special teams, but heavy graduation losses by the Warriors led him and his family to make a difficult decision to transfer to Calhoun High.
Not only did the speedster (4.4 in the 40) want a shot at winning a state title in his final season, but he also wanted to become more than a speck on the recruiting radar.
But this is Calhoun, where freshmen need almost a full season just to get accustomed to the speed of the team's college-like practices. The transition isn't an easy one.
"He's just now getting used to the tempo we like to practice with, but he's handled everything as well as anyone could," Calhoun coach Hal Lamb said of Curtis in early August. "What's impressed me the most about him is that he's willing to do whatever you ask of him. He fits right in here."
Though Curtis is low-key in talking about his talents, he doesn't hesitate to talk about the opportunity he has to display them this season.
"You get here and things are just different," he said. "They work harder than anyone, and they push you constantly. It can only help me as an individual. I've learned so much already, and the season hasn't even started."
Curtis is slated to start on both sides of the ball for the Yellow Jackets, a rare occurrence these days.
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He will team with returning starter Tydus Curtis to give new quarterback Fields Chapman one of the area's fastest duos. But it's on the defensive side of the ball where he's most needed, and where he thinks he'll play in college.
"Colleges are mostly recruiting me as a corner, and I love the challenge of playing there," he said.
"I hope to set the interception record at Calhoun, which I think is eight or nine, and I know I can get it if they'll throw it to my side. The big thing is, though, I want to win a ring."
Right now Curtis only has two scholarship offers, but a strong senior season and deep playoff run will multiply that total, his new coach believes.
"There are a few schools looking at him that haven't offered yet," Lamb said, "but he's going to have several options before the season is over."
Contact Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6296.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...