A Q&A With Snapper Winston Chapman

Mississippi State football senior snapper Winston Chapman talks one-on-one with Gene's Page.

How did you wind up playing for Mississippi State? From what I was told, the people at Fairhope, Alabama, where you are from, didn't even know you were coming to Mississippi State.
"No, I did it all on my own. I looked at each of the SEC schools and saw that they had a need here. I saw a senior that was leaving and a want for a new guy to snap the ball. That is why I came here and I have loved it ever since. I have never looked back and thought about why I didn't go to another school."

Did the State coaches talk to you beforehand about coming here?
"Not really, I just brought myself. I just showed up. I called Rockey Felker February of my senior year and told him I was coming here for a visit. He said come on. When I got here Coach Mullen said I was what a long snapper was supposed to look like. I was this big in high school. I played defensive line in high school. Obviously, I couldn't play defensive line in the SEC but I could snap the ball."

When did the Fairhope people find out that you were a player on the Mississippi State team?
"(Fairhope HS football) Coach Domino was an equipment guy here. His son is an equipment guy here now. But Coach Domino knew the entire time that I was coming here. But the head coach didn't. I guess Coach Domino let them know."

You redshirted your redshirt year. What did you do during that year while you were waiting your turn?
"I tried to perfect my skill ever chance that I could. I would always try to get better. That is all that you can do. You should never be complacent."

The next year you were the starting snapper.
"The next year I won the starting job in camp and then started that year."

What was the first game like for you?
"It was amazing that I achieved that and I am very proud that I did."

What has been the best and worse moments during your three-year career?
"I never want to lose the Egg Bowl, that is for sure. And I am glad that I don't ever have to go back to (Ole Miss). The Auburn game has always been a really fun game for me. Any SEC game, really. That is always the highpoint of each season. I always look forward to the SEC games. The other games are fun, too. They are all a great experience."

You don't get into the game that much as a snapper. How many times do you usually get into the game?
"On an average, it is about 6 punts per game and maybe 5 field goals. More or less, that is how a game goes for me."

What are you doing the rest of the game?
"I am giving encouragement to the other specialists and the offense and defense. When we are on offense, I am pretty much warming up so that when my name is called and I go out I want to make sure my job is going to be done exactly as it should."

How you ever had a bad snap?
"I have never caused a block punt. And I am very proud of that. But my punter helps me out a lot."

How do you adjust to new punters?
"It is kind of easy because you word with him all summer. You just get adjusted to who you are going to snap to. There is not a big difference when someone else gets in and punts unless it is Logan Cooke compared to Westin Graves. There is a marked difference (in their heights) because you are going to hit them in different spots. But it is not very difficult to get adjusted to your punters. You just work with them."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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