’27 LBer equally adept at slipping into coverage as getting down hill and getting after it
Gage Chapman has undergone as much physical metamorphosis as any young man in the ’27 graduating class. If we could pick a member of the ’27 class most likely to be listed in the starting lineup for a varsity team night-one, Chapman would be the guy. He has the size, speed, explosion, and ball-skills to be an immediate contributor.Fletcher W. Long, Chief of the Scouting Division, KPGFootball
We’ve been accused of being too impressed with lifting numbers regarding prospects. We could turn right around on those making those accusations and accuse them of being way to enamored with height and wing-span.
There is a critical difference between the two sets of dimensions. The power lifters had to work hard to develop the numbers of which they take such pride. The frame guys didn’t do a single darn thing to earn their height or wing-span.
One is an accomplishment. The other is blind, dumb, genetic luck.
Gage Chapman is an 8th-grader, rising 9th-grader, who has both. He has an enviable frame at 5’11,” 170-pounds. His power numbers are incredible for his stage of physical development.
Chapman bench presses 245-pounds. Chapman squats 365-pounds. Chapman deadlifts 400-pounds. Not bad for a LB/FB who has just completed his middle school career and is looking to matriculate up to varsity, high school, football.
Do you think a HS LBer can play along the defensive second level weighing 170 and possessing the lifting numbers above set forth? Are you freaking kidding?
We would suggest to you there are senior LBers all over 2A football, across Kentucky, who are less physically imposing than this kid tearing it up each and every Friday night. So, mark us down with a “yes.”
Now, Chapman is more than just strong and powerful. He is also athletic, explosive, and quick. Consider this, Chapman has been timed in the “L-Drill” in 6.9-seconds, runs the pro-agility drill in 4.56-seconds, and broad jumps 97-inches (8’1″).
Anybody completing the L-Drill in under 7-seconds is flying. Clipping off a 5-10-5 (pro-agility shuttle) in under 5-seconds is really quick and exhibits change of direction speed important to tackle in space out in the open (2nd or 3rd level). A 97-inch broad jump demonstrates both fluid and explosive hips.
Translation…we would be more surprise if he couldn’t crack the opening night lineup at Murray High than if he did. If this kid doesn’t trot out to begin the season in the opener, Murray has a lot more roster talent than many other 2A’s across Kentucky.
Now his numbers are not the substance of our opinion of Chapman alone. Chapman, unlike most prospects at his stage of development, has Hudl highlights. See for yourself, we have linked them under his picture.
So what do those highlights tell us? Well, we see that he is equally adept at slipping into coverage as he is getting down hill defending the run. We see he has great closing speed an change of direction ability. We see he makes plays, whether viewing the highlights of his several INT’s he corralled last season or watching him cause a fumble and then lead the “Scooper” down the field toward the goal line.
This kid has put in the work. This kid is continuing to work. Chapman will be a star and commonwealth-wide leader for the incoming ’27 class.
How sure are we? Would you like to wager?
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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