BYU locks down Chandler commitment with terrific campus visit
FARMINGTON — Collin Chandler stood up from the two tables that displayed five pennants of his final five choices of where he would play college basketball.
Then, the Farmington High senior spoke to the crowd that had gathered in the school’s main gymnasium for the big 1 p.m. announcement.
“Well, since everyone’s here with me I kind of want everyone to be a part of the announcement,” Chandler said.
People alongside of him grabbed tubes and held them in their hands.
Chandler led a countdown with the crowd — Three, two, one — and then, bang. BYU.
Clouds of blue powder erupted from four handheld powder cannons.
The curtain on the black background behind the table came off. Chandler took his sweatshirt off.
“Being on the campus and experiencing the culture that they have there kind of drew me in, and I loved it, and I love coach (Mark) Pope and his whole staff and I wanted to play in the Big 12,” Chandler said, referencing the university’s impending move to the Big 12 conference in 2024.
“I want to play against those good teams like Kansas, Baylor, Texas Tech, all the powerhouse teams,” he added.
Chandler and his family practiced the powder cannon reveal in the garage of their house earlier this week. To put it bluntly, it didn’t go well.
“So, originally I was going to have a basketball filled with powder and throw it up kind of like Lebron, but that did not work out. It got all up in my hair, everyone’s mouths, it was bad, so we ended up with the cannon things,” Chandler said.
Blue powder went all over the gym floor at Farmington, where the boys basketball team was scheduled to have its second day of tryouts on Wednesday.
Chandler, who averaged 22.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game last season while shooting 49.9% from the field as the Phoenix were 5A state runner-ups, quipped that he hoped he would make the team this year.
The college decision was tough, Chandler said. It was made tougher by all of his connections to the University of Utah. His dad is an alumnus of the school and Collin wore plenty of Utes gear as a kid.
“Grew up going, season tickets at the U, football games,” Chandler said.
He added that the hardest call was the one he made to Utah’s coaches to tell them he would be attending elsewhere.
“I couldn’t decide for the longest time, it just came down to not as much what was better and what was worse, it was just a gut feeling. Had to choose,” Chandler said.
Chandler’s decision was between six finalists: BYU, Utah, Stanford, Arizona, Oregon and Gonzaga. He plans to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints right after high school and enroll at BYU in 2024.
Chandler, a bouncy 6-foot-4 combo guard who can score anywhere, was ranked as the No. 29 recruit in the country by 247Sports and a four-star college prospect after a meteoric rise this summer on the club basketball circuit.
For most of his recruiting process, Utah had been the frontrunner even after Craig Smith replaced Larry Krystkowiak as head coach last year.
“With the whole, like my family being Utah fans and stuff, I wasn’t as much thinking about BYU, but I gave Pope a chance and obviously he’s an awesome recruiter and I felt like he had the same views as me, then the whole Big 12 news came out and I felt like I had to give him a chance,” Chandler said.
As Chandler described, he went with his gut feeling.
That led to Wednesday’s celebration in Farmington High’s main gymnasium with the colored powder cannons normally used in gender reveal parties for expectant mothers.
Wednesday’s reveal? Blue powder. It’s a boy.
The name? Brigham Young.