Indiana Coach Terry Hoeppner has found a way to attract local fans to Memorial Stadium – bring in local talent.
Hoeppner has started to fulfill his promise of recruiting in the state of Indiana, signing Bloomington South quarterback Ben Chappell as his second recruit in the class of 2006. The signing is mutually beneficial as Chappell wanted to stay close to home and Hoeppner is beginning to attract recruits in state.
"The way I look at is IU is in the Big Ten and in my home town," said the 6'2", 210-pound Chappell. "No other school in the nation can offer me the chance to play Big Ten football in my hometown. It was just something that was too good for me to pass up. It's an incredible opportunity for me. I think its going to be great."
Chappell heads into his senior season at Bloomington South with high expectations. After passing for more than 2,000 yards and 28 touchdowns while leading the Panthers to a 7-4 record as a junior, Chappell wanted to cross picking a college off his to-do list to focus more on football in his final high school season.
"It was a goal of mine to commit before my senior year," said Chappell. "I narrowed my choice down to a few schools and when I looked at it, there was nothing any school could offer me that would put them ahead of IU. I just felt that if there was no point in visiting other schools and no school could do anything to convince me otherwise that IU was the best choice for me."
Chappell noted that while he did consider leaving home to play somewhere early on, the love of Bloomington and the chance to have his high school fans follow his college career was just too much to pass up.
"I love the town of Bloomington and I think it's great that I get to stay here for four more years," said Chappell. "I couldn't ask for anything more. I'm excited that the same people who have watched me in high school will still be able to come watch me play. I'm going to have to tell Coach Hoeppner to give me extra tickets for all my hometown fans. Hopefully it will be a unique opportunity to draw in some local fans."
Growing up in Bloomington, Chappell has seen fewer ups than downs for the Indiana program. While he did attend football camps at Memorial Stadium, Chappell admits his was never a big Hoosier football follower.
"I didn't really grow up a Hoosier fan," said Chappell. "I went to IU games and I was always around it, but I was never a huge fan. I think the struggles in the past made it hard to be a fan, but now I think the IU program is moving in the right direction."
That move in the right direction comes from the new blood at head coach, said Chappell.
"It's just (Hoeppner's) personality. His character is unique. He is a charismatic type of person and it makes you see why his players work hard for him. He came to the program with the intention of winning and you can tell he wants to be at IU. That's the key to success in my mind. You have to want to be where you are. You just get the feeling he is the guy who can turn it around."
Chappell Ecstatic To Be Staying Home
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