Chapman, McCullough gaining recognition on and off the gridiron
Josh Chapman was the hot topic following Day 4 of Alabamaâ€™s practice. Chapman is a big man expected to play a significant role at the noseguard position in Sabanâ€™s 3-4 defense. Chapman, a former Hoover Buc, weighs 305-pounds and is 6â€™1â€ tall.
At the conclusion of spring practice, Chapman was honored with the 2008 Ozzie Newsome Most Improved Freshman Award.
He was expected to contribute. Heavily. Matching his weight.
Chapman was spotted by media outlets occupying the middle of the Tide defenseâ€”working with the first team. While the Tide isnâ€™t in pads yet, and two-a-days are yet to begin, even small things like this attract attention.
Chapman has spent time in the weight room working on strength and conditioning. He has benched 480 lbs. recently, and last year he squatted 600 lbs.
â€œStrength helps me try to overpower my opponents,â€ Chapman said. â€œBut I want to use technique also.â€
Another thing in Chapmanâ€™s favor, heâ€™s done well in the classroom. He earned SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll honors. To qualify, the player must have a cumulative GPA of 3.00, be on scholarship or a letter winner, have completed 24 semester hours of non-remedial credit and have been a member of the varsity team for the sportâ€™s entire NCAA Championship segment.
The one prospect on the defensive line Iâ€™ve expected to do good things is Alfred McCullough. Why? For many reasons. When I saw him play a few games in high school (including a state championship game), I was impressed by what he did on the field.
But since he arrived in Tuscaloosa, McCullough has done a few things to add to my estimation.
First, McCullough has taken care of business in the classroom. He earned a spot on the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.
Second, he continues to work hard on his football skills.
â€œAlfred has done a really good job.Â He did an outstanding job in the spring and he continues to work on developing as a football player,â€ Alabama head football coach Nick Saban said.Â â€œWe have been pleased with his progress.Â He is out there competing and has an opportunity to contribute in the front seven.Â He had a good spring and he improved in the spring and that has put him in position to have an opportunity to help the team, but what he does now is going to be the most important thing, in terms of how he contributes to the team this year.â€
I canâ€™t wait to see how McCullough concludes fall camp. Heâ€™s trending upward.
McCullough is a 6â€™2â€ 292 lbs. defensive lineman out of Athens High School.