The Tennessee Titans signed several undrafted free agents at the conclusion of the 2021 NFL Draft. I’m in the middle of interviewing as many of them as I can. I’ll link the previous interviews at the bottom of this post. At least one of these players is going to make the roster. Enjoy!
Former BYU offensive lineman Chandon Herring is one of those players. Herring comes in at a massive 6-foot-7 and 315 pounds. Herring has started games at left guard, right guard and right tackle. He’s a versatile blocker that did a great job protecting the No. 2 overall pick, quarterback Zach Wilson at BYU. Herring is powerful, strong and mobile.
Herring recently spoke exclusively with Broadway Sports about how he formed a relationship with Tennessee throughout the pre-draft process, his thoughts on the similarities between the Titans and BYU offenses, and which of his new teammates he can’t wait to meet in person (you’ll never guess who).
JM: What was draft weekend like for you?
CH: Draft weekend was kind of crazy. It was a bit discouraging towards the end. I was really hoping to get drafted. I thought I had a great chance to achieve that dream of mine. As the day progressed, it became a bit more clear towards the end there that it wasn’t going to happen. I was disappointed with that.
The benefit of being an undrafted free agent is that I got to pick where I wanted to go. I was thrilled to pick the Tennessee Titans. I know that it’s an excellent organization. There’s a great opportunity for me here as an O-lineman. Nashville is a wonderful community. I’m super excited. I can’t wait to get to Nashville.
JM: How did the opportunity with the Titans come about?
CH: I had spoken with several members of the coaching staff in Tennessee. I really liked the coaching staff. I thought we got along great. They run a scheme that is very similar to what I ran at BYU. When I spoke with my agent before the draft, we were trying to identify the best fits in case I went undrafted. Tennessee was one of the top teams on my list. Once the draft came to its end, the Titans reached out to me and apologized for not drafting me. They told me that they still wanted me to join the team. We had a great talk and they made me a great offer. It sounded fantastic to me. It was an easy decision at the end of the day.
JM: Which members of the organization were you in contact with? Did you have meetings with any coaches via Zoom or was it all phone calls and text messages?
CH: I’m bad with names so give me a second here (laughs). I spoke with the offensive coordinator, Todd Downing. That was after the draft. They have three coaches on the offensive line. They have a nice three-headed monster going there. I spoke with coach Keith Carter a couple of times over the phone and Zoom. I spoke with coach Carter quite a bit before the draft. I met with one of their scouts in person at the College Gridiron Showcase. I had another phone call with that same scout a few weeks later.
JM: That’s terrific. It sounds like the Titans showed a lot of interest in you throughout the process. I’m sure you met with several other teams and had other offers on the table. Why did you choose Tennessee?
CH: There are so many reasons why I felt Tennessee was the right fit. Nashville is a great community. I love the weather and the city. I know it doesn’t get too cold. I hate being cold (laughs). When my agent and I got together, we thought that maybe they needed a guard. They could use a bit more depth on the interior of their O-line. I have a lot of experience playing guard. I’ve also played some tackle.
I still have to compete for that spot. I’m not taking anything for granted here. That’s the way this business works. I think there’s a great opportunity to be had here. I really like coach Carter. I love the scheme. It’s what I’ve been running at BYU for the last few years.
It seemed like a great fit. There were other teams that showed interest in me. A few of those also felt like a good fit, but I didn’t have as good of a connection with the coaching staff or maybe I didn’t like the scheme as much as I did here.
JM: We appreciate your honesty. You went on a mission to DC North. I don’t have any information on this. It’s a common thing with prospects from BYU. Tell me about that.
CH: I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s an international church. It’s expected that young men go on a two year mission. For two years, you have to follow a rigid schedule. You have time allotted to study and learn the gospel of Jesus Christ. You go around helping people become closer to Christ. Whether that’s through teaching or service opportunity, you name it, we did it. We helped people paint their fences. We held balloons during the cherry blossoms parade as volunteers. We held individual meetings. We helped families however we could. We tried to bring satisfaction and peace to the lives of many. It’s a wonderful thing to do. For two years, all you’re doing is trying to help other people improve their lives. None of it has to do with you. You put others first. It’s a selfless way to live. I found it to be very rewarding. I loved my time there. I met so many great people from all around the world. Everybody had a story to tell. From the poor to the wealthy, I learned a lot from so many amazing people.
JM: It sounds like a terrific experience. You’ve talked quite a bit about the scheme in Tennessee being such a great fit for you. The Titans run an outside zone scheme. What do you love about that style of play?
CH: The Titans run that outside zone scheme. It is very similar to the rules of our outside zone scheme at BYU. It’s not full-fledged, we’re running it outside no matter what or at all costs. That’s the aim and the goal, but we also have cutback lanes and other things built into the scheme. It’s very similar. The running back has some other options. It fit the technique of how BYU taught us to approach our blocks.
They run a good amount of duo. It’s a power scheme without a puller. We ran quite a bit of that at BYU as well. I’m personally a big fan of that. They do a good bit of five or six man protections too. Five man pass protection is something that only an elite group can pull off. You have one less guy. It leaves the door open for teams to mess with you a little bit. If you have a good group of guys, a capable quarterback and weapons on the outside, you can pick people a part with that.
Those are some of the schemes I’ve spent time in. That’s what Tennessee does. They heavily rely on that wide zone and duo. If you want to win football games, you have to run the ball. The Titans have built their program that way. They’ll run the ball the whole game and just kill you with it in the fourth quarter. I want to be a part of that. It’s exciting to me.
JM: How much you already know about the scheme the Titans run on offense is very impressive. You blocked for a talented and mobile quarterback at BYU in Zach Wilson. Ryan Tannehill is also effective with his legs and can make throws on the move. You must feel pretty good about making the transition from blocking for Wilson to Tannehill.
CH: For sure it does. Playing with Zach was awesome. You said it. I expect to have a similar experience with Tannehill. Having a quarterback that is not only exceptional at their job, but can also do things in an unconventional way at times, it’s an awesome feeling for an offensive lineman. You know they’re going to get the job done. If I give this dude time in pass pro, I know he’s going to make something happen. If I do my job in the run game, he’ll make the best decision in the play action passing game.
Knowing that you have a true QB behind you is awesome. It makes everybody more confident. It allows you to do a lot more. The coaches have more confidence in the offense. Your teammates feel the same way. It helps everyone perform well.
One thing that was great with Zach Wilson, the offensive line in football is a team within the team. We have to be able to function and operate that way. When you have a really good quarterback that gets into that team, the communication and the confidence is shared between us all pre-snap. We felt good about our calls. We knew what the defense was going to do. Once the QB is involved in all that, it allows you to play at a whole new level. You’re operating at a different speed now. The decision making process becomes easy.
Playing with Wilson was awesome because of that. I expect to encounter the same thing with Tannehill in Tennessee.
JM: That’s terrific. It sounds like you know a ton about this Titans offense and roster. Is there a teammate that you can’t wait to practice against or learn from?
CH: I haven’t had the opportunity to meet him yet, but our offensive line coach last year Eric Mateos coached Aaron Brewer at a previous school. I’m looking forward to playing and practicing with Brewer because I know the type of people that coach Mateos helped develop. I’m looking forward to learning from Brewer. I want to hear about his process and experience with coach Mateos. He transitioned to the NFL as an undrafted free agent last year. I’m trying to do the same thing this year.
Taylor Lewan is an incredible left tackle. I would love to learn from him. Didn’t he just get voted the swaggiest big man in the NFL or something like that? (laughs). He was voted that by the offensive lineman around the league. I can learn a thing or two from that (laughs).
I’m excited to meet everybody. Coach Keith Carter is a great coach. I can already see that. I know some people that have been around him and that have been coached by him. They all have great things to say. They sing his praises as a man and as a coach. He’s going to make me a better player. I’m in a great situation here. That’s another reason why I chose Tennessee. I knew I would be surrounded by so many great players and coaches.
JM: This has been great. I’ve really appreciated your time today. In closing, what are your goals and aspirations like over these next few months?
CH: The first goal is to make the final roster. I know that I have my work cut out for me as an undrafted guy. But it’s something that’s very possible. I expect to do it. I’m expecting it to happen. After that, I want to be a contributor. Wherever I can get a chance, I want to be on the field. I want to earn a starting job. I’m gonna make a difference on the O-line.
When my coaches ask me what my goals for the season are, my goal by the end of the year is this. When the coaching staff is going through the process of evaluating their players, I want them to say, “wow” when they come across my name. I want them to say that Chandon Herring came in and did so much more than we asked of him. He blew us away. I want to exceed expectations. I want them to be impressed with how I’m developing. I want to exceed expectations and become the best player I can be.
Previous 2021 UDFA interviews: