Following the Alabama defeat of Arkansas this past weekend, the Nick Saban Show included a fun interview with starting nose tackle Josh Chapman (6’1, 305 lbs.). He graduated with a degree in Health Studies, loves the family atmosphere at The University of Alabama, and loves football, weight training and grilling. He even plans one day to open his own barbeque restaurant.
In the meantime he’s the #2 defensive tackle prospect in the upcoming NFL draft, pre-season All-SEC first team, the 6th strongest player in college football, and spends his time tenderizing offensive linemen and making mincemeat out of opposing quarterbacks.
Saban’s toughest defenses perform best with someone who can clog the middle in the defensive line. In the Show, Coach had an eye-opening summary of Chapman’s abilities and dedication to the game.
The way we play defense, when you play the 3-4, if they can single block the nose you’ve got issues. And Josh Chapman does a fabulous job. He’s strong. What I love about this guy is, he’s got a wonderful personality. You talk about a football junkie. He’ll read every guy up front, aight, and know in the game every time they’re going to pull, every time it’s a pass, every time it’s a run. He calls it out in practice all the time.
I just love this guy. – Nick Saban
And Saban said all of that with a BIG smile on his face. Coach knows defense, and when he says Chapman can control the rush and read fronts, take it to the bank … or the stat line.
Bama’s run defense is 3rd in the nation, allowing only 45.75 yards per game. That’s more than a 50% improvement over the 2010 season (106.5 YPG) and slightly ahead of the 2009 national championship season (47.25 YPG) for the first four games.
Arkansas came into Tuscaloosa widely hailed as the SEC’s top offense, ranked #14 in the AP Poll and averaging 346 passing yards along with 170 rushing yards per game. It left with 40% less passing yards, a paltry 17 yards rushing and a drop to #18 in the rankings. Until facing the Crimson Tide, the Hogs led SEC scoring with 47 points per game. Chapman and company smoked that record, giving up only 14 points and knocking the Razorbacks back to second in the conference.
Alabama is 2nd in the nation for scoring defense,
allowing only 8 points average per game – including defeating
two teams in the AP Top 25.
Every opposing team has called Chapman the strongest man in college football. According to the Patriot-News David Jones, some offenses don't even attempt to fight a battle with him. They try to get the ball away from his vicinity as quickly as possible. Try to wear him out by making him run. Throw quickly behind and around him, trying to prevent his being a factor. And apparently none of those ploys is working. Says Jones, “When you add in Chapman's ability to move – he can run a sub 5.0-second 40 meters – along with his football technique…[h]e is capable of blowing up [an] offense from the inside like a demolition expert...”
It will be fun watching Chapman continue to bring the heat to opponents. Bama enjoyed the pig roast last weekend. Now it has a taste for Gator. Order up!
Videos courtesy of al.com. Stats found at CFBStats.com and NCAA.org.
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