MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–For West Virginia’s Josh Chandler, all eyes are on him to be a standout in the Mountaineers’ youthful defense.
As a true freshman Chandler saw action in 12 games, mostly on special teams but he saw limited action at WILL linebacker. He had 14 tackles, including two forced fumbles.
The WILL is a combination of the will backer and the bandit safety in WVU’s precious defense, which means Chandler’s responsibilities have grown.
Despite his lack of experience, the 5-foot-11, 224-pounder is a crucial piece of the Mountaineers’ defense this season.
“He’s probably of all the guys on the team, and it’s not quite to his nature yet but he’s going to be a guy they probably need to find,” WVU defensive coordinator Vic Koenning said. “I would say by the middle of the year they’re going to try to find out where he’s at.”
With what the Mountaineers expect out of Chandler, he is looked at as a leader in the defense and the team.
“(The) leadership role is going good. We have a leadership council that coach Brown has put together,” he said. “We’ve got about 10-13 players I think. He’s just been putting us in different roles. He’s empowering. Our teammates have been empowering us. Coaches have been pushing us so it’s a thing we all voted on.”
That was just one of the things the Canton, Ohio native worked on this summer. He also worked on keeping his body up and getting stronger.
However, Chandler still has a few things he would like to improve on before the season.
“Just being more comfortable in the new defense,” he said. “You get used to something and then have to switch it over but once I did that I’ve been fine since.”
Once the season rolls around, Chandler looks to be a force on the field.
Cover Photo Credit: William Wotring/The Dominion Post & WVMetroNews