Defensive tackle turning heads

first_imgBRYAN FAUST/Herald photoComing off of an impressive redshirt freshman season in 2006, capped by a forced fumble during Wisconsin’s big win over Auburn in the Capitol One Bowl, defensive tackle Jason Chapman has been turning heads, literally.Chapman has four sacks, tied for most on the team, along with 16 tackles. Chapman was also a large contributor in the shutout against San Diego State and forced a fumble in the Minnesota game that resulted in a touchdown, earning him the title of UW Defensive Player of the Week in light of each of those games.Chapman has been making the best of his time by coming out each day and working hard. He says his hard work on the practice field has made him a consistent starter this year.”I feel like [my confidence] has improved since last year; certain things have happened for me,” Chapman said.Chapman added that he has been able to elevate his game by studying game tapes of himself and correcting mistakes that he has made. “[I’ve been] basically just watching old game tapes, learning from my mistakes from the past and trying to improve,” Chapman said.Even though Chapman is a two-time Defensive Player of the Week for the Badgers, as well as sharing the team lead in sacks this year, he keeps a level head and focuses on the bigger picture.”It’s just knowing that I’m making plays and helping out the team as best as I can,” Chapman said. “I’m just trying to improve every week.”Teammates of Chapman have seen his astounding play this year. Fellow defensive lineman Nick Hayden has taken note of his teammate’s hard work.”He’s just a hard worker and tries to do the best he can,” Hayden said. “I’m really impressed [with Chapman]. I knew he had the potential, it just took a little time to get used to it.”He’s made a great big leap from last year until now.”For most players, there’s often a big leap of improvement from freshman year to sophomore year, and Chapman is no exception. Teammates and coaches alike have taken notice of the sophomore’s enhanced play.”At times, [I’ve been] real impressed,” says defensive line coach Randall McCray. “Overall, I’d say at this point in the season, he’s being in the right spot, he’s trying to attack his target, he’s trying to make big plays.”[When] a guy does that, he’ll impress you every time.”Most coaches want a player who leads by example. Chapman has been doing just that, and McCray has observed this trait in his sophomore defensive tackle.”A lot of times, hard workers lead by example,” McCray said. “Chappy is not a real vocal guy. If more guys just look at his example, of his effort during the course of a play during practice, and they did the same things, they’d be a lot better off. Hopefully, that type of stuff will show guys to lead by example.”Through Chapman’s hard work during practice, he has given himself the opportunity to show what he’s got when it counts during games. McCray says Chapman has been doing a lot for the team this season and has been making his name known through his hard work and commitment to excel at what he does.”He’s been improving, getting a little bit better and working hard at it,” McCray said. “He’s a great practice player, so that’s why he shows up on the field on game day a lot. If he just keeps practicing hard like he’s doing right now, he’ll be showing up a lot more.”By never taking a play off, Chapman has proven that he’s the man for the job, stepping up at big times during the season and being a spark for his teammates to feed off of.”He’s been good for us, he’s had a couple big plays for us when we needed him, he’s stepped his game up to a whole new level from last year, he’s been doing everything right and has just been causing havoc in the back field,” Hayden said. “He makes the big plays, and we get pumped up off of that. He’s just a hard-working player like every one of us who does his responsibilities.”There’s been no sophomore slump for Chapman, but he still has quite a bit of work ahead of him as a Badger.”He’s got a bright future ahead of him,” McCray says, “as long as he keeps working and progressing like he has been doing so far.”last_img

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