“Stay hungry. Stay humble.”
This is the quote that senior wide receiver Chandler Worthy lives by, both on and off the football field.
Worthy was inspired to play football by his older brother, Gregory Worthy Jr., who eventually went on to play for Furman University and now plays for a Canadian football league. Worthy wanted to play so badly growing up that he began at 5 years old, breaking many pee-wee league rules.
Worthy continued playing both football and baseball in high school and has been starting for the Trojan football team since his freshman year.
For all four years, Worthy has been an essential part of the Trojan offense. He averages over 30 receiving yards and 80 all-purpose yards a game.
Worthy is a deep ball and kick return threat against other teams. This year alone, he has received for 354 yards and earned 621 yards in kick returns.
As with any sport, a player has both good and bad games. In Worthy’s opinion, his best game was in his first season against Middle Tennessee.
“As a freshman I caught my first touchdown and saw everyone screaming in the student section,” he said. “That was the best feeling since I’ve probably been at Troy.”
His worst game was this year’s infamous loss against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Being from Georgia, Chandler was playing for more that day than just his Trojan family. He was playing for pride and bragging rights among his fellow high school graduates.
Being back in his hometown added extra pressure to Worthy’s game. The loss was tough, but he did not dwell on it; he persevered and chose to work harder to prepare for the next week.
For many collegiate athletes, success is defined by wins and losses, but not for Worthy. He defines success as being internally happy, win or lose.
Worthy’s ultimate achievement in life would be traveling the world and experiencing other cultures.
While football is a passion for Worthy, he is aware that football will eventually fade away. He sees the sport as a way to allow him to travel and sustain the lifestyle he desires for the future.
“The happiness is from within; all that other stuff doesn’t matter,” Worthy said.
Chandler Worthy has proven that he is a talented football player so much so that the fans, coaches, and fellow players all take note when No. 16 steps on the field. Senior safety Tyler Parker has known Worthy for four years.
“Chandler is arguably the fastest player we have,” Parker said. “He has breakaway speed and is impossible to cover.”
Not only do Parker and the other teammates recognize Worthy’s excellence on the field; his character is revealed off the field as well.
“I think he is a genuine person that knows what is right and wrong,” Parker said. “He is a caring friend and a hard worker. He is respecful to authority. Chandler is like a brother to us all.”
Even though Worthy hopes to continue his football career in the NFL, his ultimate goal is to be a positive influence on his teammates.
“At the end of the day it’s just a game and it’s going to fade away, but it’s about how you touch people and inspire people to do more,” Worthy said.
Worthy’s goals have come to fruition. Many younger teammates have already approached Worthy and expressed to him that he is their role model. Moreover, he is also a role model for fans.
Worthy’s biggest fans are his family, but Worthy values all of his fans and wishes that the rest of the student body would share the support for the Trojans. The most disheartening thing about playing on the field for the players is when they come out after halftime and see the students left or didn’t come to the game at all.
“It probably means more than people realize,” Worthy said. “We value when we see students supporting us and cheering for us. Even if we are losing, (they) still need to be there to support us because we’re putting our all into it and they’re the ones that keep us motivated.”
One of the most challenging aspects of college for any student is time management, but for members of the football team it is extremely difficult. Balancing workouts, practices, classes, other organizations and games can be a struggle, but Worthy handles the pressure by utilizing every minute during the day.
Worthy’s business marketing degree has even helped his athletic career. His major has taught him to do things even when he doesn’t want to, whether that is practice, homework, or 5 a.m. weights. It has also trained him to excel in life.
“You can’t be the person who chooses to sleep over studying or the person that chooses the easy way out, because that’s not what’s going to produce results for you.”
Those who have worked in group projects with Worthy or spotted him during weight training have described him as diligent and devoted.
While Muhammad Ali and other professional athletes motivate Worthy to succeed, one man closer to home has had a significant influence on his life: head coach Larry Blakeney.
Worthy was injured last year and missed most of the season, but he remarked that Blakeney was always there to offer an encouraging word and to assure him he was still an asset to the team.
“Even when I quit on myself, he was there for me,” Worthy said.
Blakeney’s retirement came as a shock to Worthy and the other players, but the beloved coach will forever be seen as a legacy in the Troy community and as a mentor to the Trojan football players.
Worthy’s want and love for the game makes him a great player; his wisdom and practicality, qualities that many players and students his age do not possess, makes him an intuitive person.
“I know I’m not going to play forever, so the way I look at it, I’m just going to make the most out of every play, every opportunity that I have,” he said.
Worthy wants success and he desires to positively influence every individual he comes in contact with.
“Life is about competition, and like football, success will be found when you want it more than the man in front of you,” Worthy said.
Worthy has been a success at Troy both on and off the field. In May, Worthy will leave behind a legacy. Unlike many collegiate athletes, however, Worthy’s legacy will be defined less by the yards he gained or touchdowns he scored.
Chandler Worthy’s legacy will be defined by his character and influence. While football statistics fade, the men who played alongside Worthy and the Trojan family will forever remember him as an encouraging, meticulous, goal-oriented and compassionate individual, who established relationships and impacted the lives of those around him.