BIRMINGHAM, Ala (UT Sports) -- BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Tennessee freshman running back Ty Chandler was named the SEC Freshman of the Week by the Southeastern Conference office on Monday.
In the Vols' 42-7 win over Indiana State on Saturday at Neyland Stadium, Chandler returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown to put the Vols up 7-0 just 14:46 into the game. It marked the first time a Vol had returned the game's opening kickoff for a touchdown since Oct. 3, 2015, when Evan Berry ran the opening kick 96 yards versus Arkansas in Neyland Stadium. Chandler's score was the 11th kick or punt return touchdown of the Butch Jones era (since 2013). The Vols had a one kick return score and one punt return score in 2016, three kick return TDs and three punt return TDs in 2015, one punt return TD in 2014 and one punt return score in 2013. Chandler is the first Tennessee true freshman to return a kickoff for a touchdown since Leonard Scott returned one for 100 yards against Georgia in 1999.
Chandler also made the first start of his career, lining up in the slot on UT's first play on offense. He carried the ball four times for 14 yards.
Chandler is the first Vol to earn a SEC weekly award for the 2017 season. In 2016, Tennessee tallied seven SEC weekly awards.