FAYETTEVILLE — The state’s leading tackler in 2019 was Joe T. Robinson linebacker Chandler McIntosh.
McIntosh, 6-2, 225, helped lead the Senators to the Class 4A state championship. He is preparing to head to the University of Arkansas to begin his college career on June 29. He has been working hard preparing for his chance to be a Razorback.
“I’ve been mostly working out with Casey Johnson who is actually a nephew of Joe Johnson,” McIntosh said. “I’ve been working out on footwork and different explosive techniques. I have a family friend who will take me out and workout whether it be on bench press, squat, dead lift or power clean. I have also been over to JT’s (JT Towers) house a couple of times to workout. I’ve just been trying to get here and there, but then when the gyms finally opened back up I went back there.”
Towers is also heading to Arkansas to play linebacker as well. As seniors, McIntosh had 213 tackles, including 94 solo, 47 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, one interception, five pass breakups, five forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles. In brief duty on offense, McIntosh had three carries for five yards and a pair of touchdowns while also catching two passes for 18 yards and a touchdown. Towers was no slouch either finishing with 171 tackles, including 105 solo, 47 for loss, 11 sacks and five forced fumbles. That was the best one-two punch at linebacker on the same team in Arkansas.
In the state title game, the Senators beat Shiloh Christian 56-28 to win the Class 4A state title. On other side of the field was the best one-two punch at wide receiver in the state. Shiloh Christian’s Truitt Tollett and Beau Cason combined to catch 185 passes accounting for 2,768 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2019. Like Towers and McIntosh, Cason and Tollett are headed to Arkansas as well. The four will now be teammates. When you played that game did you think four of you would end up at Arkansas?
“No sir, I did not,” McIntosh said. “I honestly didn’t.”
McIntosh is glad Truitt and Cason will be on his team in the future.
“I thought they were definitely giving us trouble,” McIntosh. “They were very challenging, but we were able to overcome it. They are both great players.”
McIntosh’s senior season went 14-1, he won a state championship and led the state in tackles and got the opportunity to be a Razorback. Could the ending for your high school career have been written any better?
“No sir, honestly couldn’t,” McIntosh said. “Believe it or not I didn’t really think about the tackles. It was also a challenge to me. Before the season I told my coach….before the season started he asked what would be our goals? Goals as a whole and individual goals? I told him I wanted to get 200 tackles. He was like, ‘You really didn’t take me serious?’ I was like I’m serious, I want to get 200 tackles. Once the season started, I only gave it one other thought. In the first game, I had like maybe 18 tackles. Once I saw that I thought if I keep doing that I can get there.”
McIntosh will report on June 29 to the Razorbacks. He shared his thoughts as the time draws very near.
“It’s definitely been on my mind more,” McIntosh said. “I might be on YouTube. I’m just watching more and more football. I’m getting more in the mindset and ready to practice. I find myself dialed into more football. That’s kinda how I’ve been going about it and stepping up my workouts every day. Just dialing in.”
McIntosh and the other freshmen have had virtual meetings with the Razorback coaches for a few weeks now. His have been with Rion Rhoades who will be his coach with the Hogs.
“Those were kinda weird because you’re not expecting that,” McIntosh said. “After awhile you kinda get used to it. It gives you an idea. You’re not gonna transfer everything until you experience it. It does give you an idea of what you are gonna have to do.”
Rhoades has made a strong impression on him.
“I think he’s just a fun, exciting guy,” McIntosh said. “Kinda like patient with you as well because you aren’t gonna understand everything. But I feel like he’s a fun and exciting guy. I can’t wait to work with him. I love his energy as well. He’s always laughing and everything. I love that.”