CLEMSON — Before Chase Brice enrolled at Clemson in the summer of 2017, he spent that spring playing baseball for North Oconee High School in Georgia.
It was then that he first met an eighth grader named Bubba Chandler — who would go on to be a two-sport star for North Oconee.
“Chase graduated when I was in eighth grade, but I’m good friends with him,” Chandler told ClemsonSports.com this spring. “I play golf with him a lot, we go out to eat sometimes.”
Chandler and Brice always kept in touch some, but they grew closer after Chandler committed to play football for Dabo Swinney and the Tigers.
Chandler committed to Clemson last May after previously being committed to play baseball at Georgia.
He has a big decision coming up next month as he is projected to be a first-round pick in July’s MLB Draft.
Still, Chandler is considering coming to Clemson to play football and baseball for the Tigers, and he’s asked Brice what to expect if he does.
“We’ve grown pretty close really ever since I committed to Clemson. He’s a multi-sport dude. I’m a multi-sport dude,” Chandler said. “So he’s kind of taken me under his wing with some of the little stuff that he noticed about when he was at Clemson, how to get through it, how to excel at it.”
Brice spent three seasons as a backup quarterback at Clemson before entering the transfer portal in January of 2020.
While Brice did not finish out his career at Clemson, he told Chandler that he loved being a Tiger.
“He says it’s awesome. He said he woke up every single day and he just thanked God for the opportunity that he’s playing football at Clemson,” Chandler said. “So that’s how I’m going to look at it. God put me in this situation so I’m going to try to do my best.”
Brice also offered Chandler some advice for how to succeed as a college athlete.
“You’ve really just gotta show up every single day and work your tail off,” Chandler said of Brice’s message to him. “Just gotta do the little things right. Really commit yourself to the weight room, because adding weight, getting strong is one of the keys to being good at the next level.”
North Oconee baseball coach Jay Lasley, who coached both Brice and Chandler, sees some similarities in the two in terms of work ethic.
Lasley only coached Brice for one season, but that’s all it took for him to leave his mark on the North Oconee baseball program.
“Chase Brice brought to us an attitude of one of your better players being your best leader, being your best teammate,” Lasley said.
That trait has been passed down over the years, first to current Vanderbilt star Kumar Rocker in 2018, and now all the way down to Chandler this past year.
“Rocker picked that up as a senior in ’18, passed that off to Dom Hughes, who plays at Kansas State, who passed it off to Will Pierce, who’s now passed it off to Bubba,” Lasley said. “That legacy kind of started with Chase Brice.”