Some say being on a football team is like being a part of a big family.
For Mark Chapman, that’s literally the case.
One of 21 recruits to sign national letters of intent on Wednesday to play football at Central Michigan, Mark joins his brother, junior defensive back Jarret Chapman, and cousin, sophomore defensive back Winslow Chapman.
“We’ve got three Chapmans, so they think that “C” on the helmet stand for Chapman,” head coach Dan Enos joked Wednesday afternoon. “Over the years, family ties can either help you or hurt you. I told Mark, ‘You’re going to look at other programs and not know what it’s like there.’”
Mark was a highly recruited player out of Port Huron, and when it came down to deciding on where he was going, with his father being a Marine, they went to the Marine Room where he made the decision to play with his family.
With a brother and cousin already on the team, Mark knows all about Mount Pleasant and the football program, making the decision a little easier than most.
“He knows exactly what it’s like to play football here,” Enos said. “When you have players who encourage their siblings to play here, then it makes it easier to recruit.”
Unlike his brother and cousin, Mark isn’t a defensive back. He’s a wide receiver, despite not playing wide receiver at Port Huron High School.
When Mark’s cousin Winslow rushed for 1,055 yards in his senior season and his brother Jarret gained 1,202 yards combined rushing and receiving the year before, it was Mark who was distributing.
Mark was standout quarterback for the Big Reds in their spread attack. He guided them to three-straight playoff appearances and a 22-10 record in those seasons.
He totaled 5,033 yards in his three seasons with 3,035 rushing and 1,722 passing. In his senior season, he completed 53 percent of his passes for 989 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception.
He holds the single-season school records in rushing yards (3,035), points (150) and yards per rush (11.8). He is the career-record holder in points with 363.
These numbers gave Mark many accolades, including a No. 9 ranking on the Detroit Free Press Fab 50, No. 18 on the Detroit News Blue Chip List, 2012 Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year and the Macomb Area Conference MVP.
With his ability to not only catch, because he is a receiver after all, but to pass and run, he is triple-threat that Enos can’t wait to use.
“We’ll be able to do a lot of things with Mark,” Enos said. “We can throw to him, obviously, but he can catch punts, kickoffs, run reverses, throw the ball, get into the Wildcat and run the zone read. We’ll be able to do a lot.”
Another weapon Mark possess is his brain.
The youngest Chapman has a 3.75 GPA and is a member of the National Honors Society.
He is also a recipient of the Michigan Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award.
“He has a very bright future,” Enos said. “His brother is already a starter, here and his cousin is going to be a good player, too.”