Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

December 21, 2012

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


TYLER — Jeremy's big decision

The playing time should come quick for the lanky speedster, with the departure of several Bulldog senior wide receivers moving on.

“The Bulldogs lost five seniors to graduation this season and MSU was looking to go the JUCO route to sign players that could come in and play right away,” Chappelle said in regard to the anticipated immediate playing time that should be available for him in in Starkville. “So they came and got me, and I’m going into it to start.”he said.

“I loved the school, it’s really pretty there but I liked the way the coaches treated me the most. “They acted like they really wanted me, and everything about the trip was good.”

The loss of an uncle

Always involved in his athletic endeavors, his mother, Veronica Hunter and a recently lost uncle and Jacksonville’s favorite  youth coach, Stacy Hunter, were always there with Chappelle until recently.

Stacy was shot to death in an after hours incident at his club in Jacksonville, and as the Apache season wound down, Chappelle played with a heavy heart but a new found inspiration.

“The loss of my uncle Stacy (Hunter) had a major impact on me,” Jeremy recalled concerning the recent setback. “My father left when I was four and my uncle stepped in, but he was more than an uncle to me. He taught me how to be a man, and not only taught me, but he showed me how to be a man.”

Hunter had been Chappelle’s City League coach in football and basketball, and was famous for taking his teams everywhere. His main motive was showing others that it was a better life than what they were experiencing in their neighborhood.

“He (Stacy Hunter) installed that killer instinct in me,” Chappelle said of his attribute most beneficial from Hunter. “Most wide-receivers don’t want to be physical but I take pride in being physical, and he instilled that in me.

“I wanted to be just like him, and besides my mother, he had the most influence on my life,” Chappelle concluded. “He was the rock and protector of our family. He always told me that I would take his spot, and he was preparing me for that time, and he would tell me “you the next up man.'”

“Me nor nobody will never take his place… he was beyond great, “ Chappelle said. “But I feel I can carry his legacy on and be a role model for the youth. He would love that.”

So when it came down to the choice of MSU, Chappelle listened to mom, and knew what his uncle would have liked.

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