Auburn commitment Josh Chapman is one of the standouts for the Bucs this season on defense and he says the team is hitting its stride at just the right time.
"This is about the time we kick it in to Hoover football," the 6-1, 280 Chapman tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "We have started playing to our best ability. Normally when we play our first games we're all hyped up as a team. As the season goes on we kind of fell apart, but now with the playoffs on and even two games before the playoffs we became a team again. We've started gelling."
Opening the season with tough out of state games against teams such as John Curtis High out of the New Orleans area and Union High from Tulsa, Okla., Hoover got put into the fire early. Chapman says those games have made it tougher on the Bucs, but they also made this team ready to handle what they'll see in the coming weeks.
"It has been tougher than the previous years I have played," Chapman says. "But it has also been more fun than ever because we just try to make it fun. We play tough opponents every week and everyone wants to beat us. They give us their A games all the time. It's kind of fun playing games like that."
Chapman is a physical presence on the defensive line for the Bucs.
Having fun is just what Chapman has done this season. Playing alongside fellow recruit Kerry Murphy, Chapman has made 68 tackles with 14 tackles for a loss in 2006. A player who should fit perfectly in Auburn's scheme as a noseguard, Chapman says he's been fortunate this season to play beside Murphy because teams haven't been able to double-team him as much as he normally would see.
"From the noseguard position most people would look to double me, but I've got the top player in the state beside me so they have to double him some," Chapman says. "It messes up their blocking schemes. With them not really doubling me much they try to block me with one guy and I make the play."
Last season's Hoover run into the playoffs was captured by cameras for a reality show called Two-A-Days and the popularity of the show made MTV come back for a second season this year. The show will be centered around quarterback Ross Wilson, linebacker Michael DeJohn, lineman Patrick Crump, wide receiver Charlie Zorn, defensive end Mark McCarty and wide receiver Brandon Clear. Chapman says that he was perfectly fine not being a part of the show and he's happy to stay behind the scenes once again.
"I didn't have the cameras last year and I don't have them this year either," Chapman says. "It kind of helps me out because I don't have to do the things they want you to do for the camera. It takes time out of your football time for that stuff. It kind of helps me out."
Last weekend Chapman was one of the many prospects on hand to check out Auburn's game against Georgia. While the game didn't turn out like anyone at Auburn hoped, Chapman says that he really enjoyed the atmosphere and it made him ready to get to Auburn for good.
"I really liked the atmosphere," Chapman says. "It was more people than I've ever seen. It really made me feel like that's where I want to play."
Chapman will make another trip this weekend as he'll be in Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl with Auburn facing Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium. He says he's looking forward to seeing the game in person for the first time. It likely won't be his last trip to Tuscaloosa this year as he says he could take a visit to Alabama before signing day, but it won't change his mind on his future college plans.
"It's Auburn but I might take an official visit just to look around," Chapman says. "Auburn is where I'm at."