Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

December 21, 2012

Chappelle determined to make the most of his opportunity at Mississippi State

TYLER —

Tyler Junior College and the Brook Hill School friends, fans and athletic supporters should be proud as Jeremy Chappelle has decided to join the ranks of the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Chappelle, a native of Jacksonville, signed a National Letter of Intent to attend MSU on Wednesday during ceremonies held at TJC.

The Bulldogs finished last year with a 8-4 overall record.

 MSU is headed to Jacksonville, Fla. to play Northwestern University in the Gator Bowl, Jan. 1, 2013.

Last year Chappelle aided the Apache run at the playoffs before falling in the semi-finals to Northeast Oklahoma in a 37-35, shootout.

He had six catches for 100-plus yards and two scores in his JUCO finale.

“I was also considering Louisiana Tech, West Virginia, Houston, Texas A&M and Mississippi State were at the top of my list,” Chappelle said.

“First of all, my Mama (Veronica Hunter) loved it, and said she felt like she was at home,” Chappelle said. “And if my Uncle Stacy (Stacy Hunter) who recently passed away) had been there I know he would’ve loved it too.

“Those two things just made it even better, and once I put the jersey on I just felt like that was the place for me.”

An all-star since boyhood, Chappelle was a key component to a successful Apache season this past season, and capped of his high school career with a state title appearance at the Brook Hill School finale.

Both would not have happened if not for second chances, and being with the right people at the right time.

In high school came the first reality check for Chappelle, after starring as a freshman for the Jacksonville Indians.

Two years of awards all-district accolades gave the young Chappelle plenty of confidence. Enough confidence to play as hard off the field, as he did on the field and trouble followed.

As Chappelle briefly put it, “Too much of the wrong crowd, and a much different environment,” was all Chappelle recalled of his early Jacksonville High School successes.

Off-field complications led Chappelle to being released from JHS athletics, with Chappelle finding a home at the Brook Hill School, a private school 15-miles up Hwy. 69 from Jacksonville.

“Jacksonville and Brook Hill are two totally different environments,” Chappelle said. “Not only Jacksonville but I was coming from the hood, Lincoln Park.”

For the first time in his life, Chappelle had to get use to the system.

“We had chapel every Wednesday, I wasn’t use to having something like that,” the wide receiving wonder said, “but I grew to love everything about Brook Hill, it’s a great school with even greater people.”

While at Brook Hill, Chappelle earned two-time, all-state football and double basketball honors for the Guard.

In football, he left Brook Hill with a state finalist spot in football, and one TAPPS final four appearance in TAPPS state hoops.

For head coach, Terry Pirtle at Brook Hill, Chappelle was a receiver, defensive back/linebacker/kick return specialist, setting standards for the Guard that could possible stand for decades.

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