Chapman on his commitment

Bedford (Ohio) High School product is the 14th athlete to give a verbal commitment to Wisconsin for the 2004 recruiting class

New Page 6

Jason Chapman had planned on taking three visits, but one was all he needed.


The Bedford (Ohio) High School product took an official visit to Wisconsin Friday through Sunday and gave his verbal commitment to the Badgers.


"It's just the place I felt I needed to be," Chapman said.


Timing was everything for Chapman, who projects as a defensive end in college. Prior to his visit the Badgers had already secured verbal commitments from three defensive linemen—Nick Hayden (Hartland, Wis.), Mike Newkirk (Ladysmith, Wis.) and Gino Cruse (Phoenix, Ariz.)—and according to Chapman, there were a number of potential recruits fending for a final defensive line spot.


Chapman said Wisconsin has at least three defensive line prospects coming in for visits the weekends of Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.  Chapman was originally scheduled to visit Cincinnati Dec. 5 but worried that his opportunity to commit to Wisconsin could pass him by.


"I mean it is like late in the season and a lot of people have committed already," Chapman said, adding, "They mentioned, like, the (defensive) lineman that they had looked at but I was their number one priority but it's like I said, during the football season like some other lineman already had committed. There was one more spot left (for defensive linemen).


"I don't have time to waste."


Chapman's verbal commitment gives Wisconsin 14 for the 2004 recruiting class. The team does not release scholarship information but 18 seniors, included six who potentially have a year of eligibility remaining, celebrated Senior Day during the Iowa game.


Wisconsin currently starts four juniors on its defensive front and a senior who would have started, Erasmus James, took a medical redshirt this season and will return to the field next year. Now, the Badgers have a defensive line quartet committed to coming to Madison, Wis. in the fall.

Chapman no longer plans on visiting Cincinnati or West Virginia.


"A lot of people are down on Conference USA," Chapman said regarding Cincinnati. As for the Mountaineers, Chapman said he spoke to a high school player in his area who had visited the school and did not give a positive review.


Now, rather than take his previously scheduled visit to Cincinnati, Chapman will take part in Bedford's season-opening basketball game on Dec. 5. Chapman, who suits up at power forward and center, expects Bedford to thrive on the hardwood.


"Basically we should have a good season," Chapman said. "We are supposed to be the powerhouse of the school year…Every year I take us down, lead us to the playoffs but I've never had help, this year I have a little more help from the sophomore class."


Chapman's high school teammate Brandon Kelly and fellow Bedford-native Dontez Sanders hosted Chapman on his visit.


"I played with Brandon, I heard of Dontez when I was in high school, he was three years older than me. I heard about him when (Bedford Chanel) went to state," Chapman said.


Chapman arrived on campus Friday morning and took part in everything Badger football had to offer—viewing team meetings, highlight videos and practice in addition to the game.


"Basically I got to be on the team for the days I was there. Basically I was like on the team but I wasn't playing, I got to do whatever they did," Chapman said.


As for the Camp Randall Stadium atmosphere, Chapman said, "It was nice, sent chills up my body."

Badger Nation Top Stories