It didn't take IU Coach Terry Hoeppner long to decide Bloomington (Ind.) South quarterback Ben Chappell was worthy of a scholarship offer.
In fact, Chappell said the story goes that the Hoosier coach saw the 6-2, 210-pounder throw three balls and was then ready to extend the offer for him to play collegiately across town at IU.
"That's what my recruiting coach, (IU wide receivers) coach Billy Lynch told me," said Chappell, who will make his official visit to Indiana this weekend. "It kind of surprised me, and it's kind of funny. I guess he likes the way I throw it."
Chappell quickly accepted the IU offer late last summer before the start of his senior season. He then went on to have a big season for the Panthers, earning first-team All-State honors while leading his team to a Conference Indiana championship and a 7-3 record. Chappell completed 165-of-282 passes for 2,359 yards and 27 touchdowns while also running for another seven scores.
"Being in the same offense for two years in a row really helped me," said Chappell. "I also had a lot of the same guys I was throwing it to last year back, so there was some continuity. I grew up a lot this year, I got a lot better at making my reads, and we got to throw the ball a lot this year."
His next opportunity will come next fall when he arrives in Bloomington as one of four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. He'll be joined by senior Graeme McFarland, junior Blake Powers and redshirt freshman Kellen Lewis in a position battle that figures to be wide open.
"I'm really excited about the whole situation at Indiana," said Chappell. "It's a great school, and I think it's going to be a great situation for me football-wise. I'm excited about all aspects of it."
Chappell will be on campus this weekend, when he takes his official visit to the IU program. While his visit is to a program that he's already committed to and in a town that he lives in, it's still a weekend that he's been looking forward to.
"It's kind of a formality, but I'm looking forward to meeting with the academic advisors and getting that stuff figured out," said Chappell. "I'm also looking forward to meeting some of the other recruits."
Among those who will be in town with Chappell are another in-state verbal commit, Pike's Greg Middleton, and a handful of other recruits who are still weighing their college decisions. Among are Ohio wide receiver Ray Fisher, St. Louis offensive lineman Keith Williams and Missouri linebacker Sam Johnson.
"If there's a guy who I know is seriously considering Indiana I'll talk to him about it and point out some of the positive things, but I'm not going to try to sell it," said Chappell. "Everyone has to make their own decision. But I'll point out some of the positive things that I think I feel about the university and the program."
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