Bubba Chandler has all of the skills needed to become a professional athlete. Problem is, he’s a highly touted two sport star who currently faces more options than answers.
On the gridiron, the Georgia native is a talented quarterback with great size and arm strength. He reported to Clemson in June on a football scholarship, and with the loss of Taisun Phommachahn in the Clemson spring game, Chandler could conceivably win the backup job straight out of the gate (DJ Uiagalelei is the listed started for the Tigers).
On the baseball diamond, Chandler has shown massive potential as both a switch-hitting shortstop and flame throwing pitcher—his fastball reached 97 mph this past Spring.
“Chandler’s athleticism and clean arm action and delivery bode well for his control and command, though he’s still learning to harness his enhanced stuff,” his MLB scouting report says. “He’s also an intriguing prospect as a switch-hitting shortstop with solid power potential and speed. He’s believed to prefer baseball, though it remains to be seen how Clemson football will affect his signability.”
Though Chandler currently intends to compete as a two-sport college athlete, the MLB first-year player draft looms large. Chandler will not only face the normal decision that all top baseball prospects face (college or minor leagues), but he will also have to weigh his football career in the decision. Staying in school at least buys him some time, and with new NIL laws coming into effect, he may be able to make a decent living as a spokesman while also living a charmed varsity college life.
The crossroad he faces is especially interesting because it is paved with multiple options, instead of multiple responsibilities like most people face. Having options in life sounds like a wonderful development, but the burden of making a decision and fully lining up with it can be difficult. Without absolute dedication and focus, lingering doubt will always creep into the psyche. Quite often, having a strong sense of self and of direction is an incredible advantage, even though we like to feel as if “we can do whatever we want” once we’re grown. Being a jack of all trades and having options certainly beats the looming bludgeon of responsibility, but passionate intensity and singularity of purpose trumps all else.
Of course, few people will shed a tear for Bubba, and that’s fine. He will likely make millions no matter his decision. But understanding the paradox of possibility—both the blessing and the curse of options—is an important piece of being mature, and of being successful. The mind wants to focus; it wants to fully embrace a purpose and experience the satisfaction of arrival. Whatever Chandler chooses, and whenever he chooses it, one thing is absolutely certain: to be successful at the highest level, he will have to commit fully and passionately.
What would you do?