Brook Chapman's speed allows him to track down quarterbacks in a chase and his strength overpowers them once he catches them.
Chapman can be a quarterback's worst nightmare. He wrapped up Greenville's quarterback on this play during last year's game at Dooley Field.
GreerToday.com / File
Just in case his teammates needed any convincing, Chapman showed his versatility leaving them in his wake during this touchdown run in the spring game.
Chapman will practice offense one day and defense another. His value is on the defensive line. But he has proved effective when the offense needs him as an equalizer.
He qualified for NCAA Division I in the spring and used the past summer to get in his best competitive shape since playing football at Greer High School. He also participated in the Shrine Bowl combine.
Chapman figured he would be in season shape by the first two games. “It’s time to shine. This is my time,” Chapman said. “This summer I got in shape to prepare for the season.”
The multi-talented senior is this week’s Greer Football Student-Athlete of the Week for his outstanding play in the Yellow Jackets’ 56-14 win over Riverside last week. He will be presented the award, co-sponsored by Walmart and GreerToday.com at Thursday’s Greater Greer Touchdown Club meeting.
“Football means everything to me. When I graduate and come back to a reunion I want to do something that I can be remembered,” Chapman said.
Chapman led a defense that held Riverside to 177 total yards (131 rushing, 46 passing).
Through the first two games Chapman, 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, has only carried the ball twice. That’s OK with him although he enjoys running to daylight. “We have Brook at defensive end because he’s the best we have,” Greer Head Coach Will Young said. “He’s the best we’ve had in a long time (on defensive line).”
Chapman can take over games when called upon as a one-man wrecking crew. Last year he was inserted into the lineup at running back at Clinton and Blue Ridge. His running helped the Yellow Jackets win both games. "There was just something about those two games," Chapman said. "We needed those games and there was more enthusiasm."
Young said Chapman, physically, is more the size of a college fullback. “Coaches need to see him at running back. He’s a 4.50 in the 40 (4.5 seconds in 40-yard sprint).” Chapman teamed with Malek Johnson, Quez Nesbitt and D’Anta Fleming to finish second in the state in the 4x100 relay in the spring.
Chapman recorded two sacks and one tackle for loss in the Yellow Jackets’ loss to Seneca in the opener. He has carried the ball only twice for 13 yards (6.5 average). “He’s a big kid and we don’t want to wear him out playing both ways. When the weather cools he will play more on offense,” Young said.
Chapman had a growth spurt in football his junior year. “As a sophomore he wasn’t much of a player. Between his sophomore and junior hit he hit the weights and is a lot stronger,” Young said.
The leadership Chapman displays at times can be pointed. As younger players were heading toward a drink of water this summer, the coaches were calling the players together. “Let’s go,” Chapman said. “We can get water later.”
There may be times when Chapman may see spot duty at linebacker. “We’re teaching him what to do at linebacker,” Travis Perry, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, said. “He can play defensive end. He played some linebacker as a sophomore and we moved him to defensive end. He’s something coming through on a blitz.”
Chapman said he understands his family is his biggest cheerleader. “This is all for my family now. They are the people depending on me being good, not just in football, but in other things.”