Coach Says DL Chapman Has Big Upside

Auburn's newest commitment Josh Chapman and position Coach Chris Davis talk about his decision to be a Tiger.

Hoover, Ala.--Hoover defensive line Coach Chris Davis knows a thing or two about college football talent. A native of Roanoke where he played at Handley High and a player at Kentucky, Davis has seen both sides of the world of football in Alabama and the SEC and when he says Auburn is getting a gem in commitment Josh Chapman you can believe him.

"Auburn is getting not only a good player, but a good person as well," Davis says. "He's a very humble young man off the field. On the field he's very aggressive with a lot of strength. He's got some maturing to do like most kids in high school. He's a very dominant player for us and is a guy that has a tremendous upside. His best days are ahead of him."

Not that his past days have been bad, but the physical Chapman has quickly become a dominant force for the Bucs alongside fellow D-I recruit Kerry Murphy. A 6-1, 283-pound sparkplug of energy, Chapman says that the success of guys like Tommy Jackson, Wayne Dickens and now Josh Thompson made him quickly realize that Auburn was the place he needed to be.

"The difference was that I've got a chance to play at Auburn really," Chapman tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It's the same defense we play here and it's a good fit for me. They've got good coaches down there and they've got something I want to be a part of and that's winning a national championship. I plan to come down there and watch a lot of games. I haven't been to an Auburn game but I'm looking forward to it.

"Last year they had a player about my same size," Chapman adds. "Some people look at height and I look at them and they don't really look at the height. They just look at your ability to play football."

Chapman is athletic and can make plays behind the line of scrimmage.

Because of his relative lack of knowledge about the Auburn football program, Chapman has taken every available opportunity to learn as much about the Tigers as possible. That has meant several trips to campus, first for a camp when he impressed the Auburn coaching staff and then second when he came back to talk with them in depth. He says the trips were huge for him when it came time to pull the trigger.

"It made a big difference because at first I didn't really know anything about Auburn just Bama," Chapman says. "Every time I went down there I learned more about the place. I felt more comfortable every time I went down there."

Josh Chapman

Something that didn't hurt Auburn's case was having a commitment in Ryan Pugh talking up the Tigers at every opportunity to Chapman. Along with fellow Hoover offensive lineman and Alabama commitment Patrick Crump, Pugh gives the Bucs a dominating tandem of blockers up front. Chapman says that getting to work against his teammates every day in practice has prepared him for anything he'll see this season.

"Our offensive line is the best I've ever gone against," Chapman says. "It helps us out because we get to go against, I think we have the best line in the state and probably the best line in the country to me. It helps me because when I go against another team there probably won't be another lineman better than our linemen here. If I can do well against them I'll be able to do good against anyone."

No matter what happens in the drive for a fifth consecutive state championship, Chapman and Hoover will be the focus of a great deal of media attention this season. From playing on national television to being the focus of a story in Sports Illustrated, the coverage is coming. That would normally be something of a concern for a coach, but Davis says one player he won't have to worry about losing concentration is Chapman. That's a good sign for Auburn fans down the road.

"When he first joined us at the end of his ninth grade year he was a kid that played with a lot of aggressiveness," Davis says. "He had a lot of strength already and he was focused on what he wanted to do. He's always been focused and not a problem off the field.

"He's always been a great kid on the field, off the field, and in the classroom. He's been successful because of his upbringing. His mom has done a real good job with him. It's something that is really paying off for him now. We're excited that he's made a decision and now he can concentrate on Hoover and what we've got to do this year."

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