The Bedford Connection

DE/TE Jason Chapman is taking his first official visit this weekend

New Page 1

A new face from a familiar place is visiting Wisconsin Nov. 21-22.


Bedford (Ohio) High School defensive end/tight end Jason Chapman will make his first of three likely official visits when he comes to Madison, Wis. to attend the Badgers' game with Iowa and see the Wisconsin campus for the first time.


Interestingly, Chapman's first visit was supposed to be last week at Iowa.


"I was going to look at Iowa last week but I don't know what happened, they said some type of technical problem or something," Chapman said. "They discussed it with my mother, I didn't get to talk to them. They said something happened in recruitment, I don't know. I was supposed to be there on Friday and come back tonight but I don't know what happened. They called my mom and said there was a discrepancy in the recruit department."


Chapman is also planning on visiting Cincinnati Dec. 5 and he "might go to West Virginia after Cincinnati."


When asked if the Badgers, Bearcats and Mountaineers served as his top three, Chapman's tone implied that the schools are tentative favorites.


"I think so, most likely," Chapman responded.


Of the three, Chapman has only taken an unofficial to Cincinnati. "I liked it there too," he said.


Though he has never been to Madison, Chapman was still drawn to Wisconsin out of familiarity.


Current Badger receiver Lee Evans and linebacker Brandon Kelly attended Bedford, while strong safety Dontez Sanders attended Bedford Chanel High School. Former Badger and current Miami Dolphin receiver Chris Chambers is also a Bedford product. In addition, Chapman's older brother played football with Evans while at Bedford.


"(Wisconsin) is a good football program," Chapman said. "Players from our school have had success going there. I figure why not check it out, see what it's all about."


Chapman's prep football season did not go as planned. Bedford finished 3-7, its worst record in nine years according to Chapman.


"We had a horrible season, it is basketball season now," Chapman said.


In addition to being a three-year starter at defensive end and tight end, Chapman is a three-year starter as a power forward and center for Bedford's basketball team. Priorities, though, will collide with the basketball season from the early going. His first hardwood game of the year is scheduled for the same weekend as his Cincinnati visit.


"My mother already said it is cut out; I have to go to Cincinnati first," Chapman said with a laugh.


Chapman said the first school to show interest in him was Iowa, which offered a scholarship in the fall of his junior year. At one point or another, more than a dozen schools have offered, most during the May evaluation period. Chapman's list, culled from various interviews with Badger Nation and other The Insiders publications, has included Wisconsin, Maryland, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Boston College, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Kent State, Virginia, Florida, Penn State, Michigan, Kentucky and Vanderbilt.


Due to a basketball injury, Chapman was surprised last spring when college football recruiters paraded to his high school campus to offer him scholarships. Chapman fractured his ankle during spring break while playing AAU basketball.  


"I was going back and forth and I was on crutches at the time. I was surprised I got as many offers as I did because I thought I threw them off because I was on crutches," Chapman said.


Far from throwing them off, the recruiters came in droves, with West Virginia, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio State, Bowling Green, Michigan State, Michigan, Ball State, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Toledo, Kent State and Ohio University making stops in Bedford.


In addition to his unofficial to Cincinnati, Chapman has taken two unofficial trips to Michigan. Chapman, though, said there was a mutual falling out with the Wolverines.


The common denominator for the schools who appear to still have the best shot at Chapman is that they have continued to recruit him hard through the entire process. Chapman said all three use their NCAA-limited once-a-week phone call.


"Every week calling, the same treatment," Chapman said.


As Chapman takes his visits he will be looking for a quality academic program and to see how he would fit in with the people at the university, including having a respectful relationship with the school's coaches.

Badger Nation Top Stories