Reunited: Jarret, Winslow Chapman share a love for football
Jarret and Winslow Chapman are cousins on the Central Michigan football team.
But their teammates and coaches say they are more like brothers.
“They are very close cousins,” secondary coach Kirby Cannon said. “Most people think they’re brothers. They are both very fun to work with; they both have a great work ethic, and they’re quality people on and off the field.”
Jarret’s family traveled around a lot, and the two families were only able to get together about once a year. They would be in contact throughout the year, but both cousins agreed it was nothing compared to actually getting the families together.
It gave them the chance to watch and talk about something they both loved — football.
Bethany Walter/Staff Photographer Freshman defensive back Winslow Chapman runs down the field with the ball on Saturday afternoon at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. CMU beat Miami 30-16.
“In the summer, when we would meet up at our Grammy’s, we would put each other’s tape on and all watch each other,” Jarret said.
When Jarret’s father retired from the Marine Corps, his family moved to Port Huron – the same city where Winslow's family resides.
This gave the cousins an opportunity to play football together, something they always longed for.
“Right when we got back, we started clicking again like when we were younger, and we made this oath going into summer workouts that we had to play college football together,” Jarret said.
And both of them upheld that oath.
Jarret, who is one year older than Winslow, moved to Port Huron his sophomore year. While the Chippewas were recruiting him, they also noticed the play of Winslow.
“With the coaches knowing Jarret and recruiting him, they automatically knew a little bit about me, so they started recruiting me early,” Winslow said. “When I started looking into it, I felt comfortable here and knew this is where I wanted to go.”
Now, the cousins are a part of the CMU secondary and are as close as they have ever been.
So close in fact that some players on the team call them the Siamese twins.
“We’re together 24/7," Jarret said. “We’re always giving each other a hard time about something. I think that’s what created the Siamese (nickname), because as soon as we walk into the locker room, we’re side-by-side, and we always leave together.”
Last year, when Winslow was still in high school, Jarret would always check on how his brother Mark and Winslow did in their weekly football games.
“Every Friday night, I would be in my hotel room when we were traveling to figure out how did Winslow do, how did Mark do,” Jarret said. “And now for (Winslow) to be up here, it just makes me feel comfortable again.”
Winslow said having his cousin at CMU has made the transition to college much easier.
“It’s hard for freshmen to adjust to the faster speeds and bigger guys,” he said. “But with Jarret here, I knew I wouldn’t get as lost. I know where my classes are; I know where I’m supposed to be for practice; I have somebody to go to when I need help, so he’s been a big help.”
The cousins have always played the same sports or participated in similar activities. Both of them played basketball and ran track and field in high school.
And like most family rivalries, the two would often compete to establish superiority over the other.
“We’ve always been competitive, but it’s never gotten to the point where it’s made us mad at each other,” Jarret said. “It’s always just been like, Winslow would come in and do something in the weight room, and I’d be like dang, man, I got to do that now. It’s just always made us better.”
Because of family influence, both cousins are majoring in criminal justice.
“Our aunt Patsy was a police officer in Texas, and coming back here and hearing the stories that she had, it seemed like something I wanted to do,” Winslow said.
Jarret said his cousin is extremely smart in the classroom but was not hesitant to bring up a moment where the only thing he could say was, “Winslow, what were you thinking?”
Jarret and his two brothers were talking to Winslow about football. Since he was a college player, they wanted to see how much he knew about NFL teams. They asked him what team was from St. Louis and Winslow confidently responded, “The Saints.”
The three of them broke out in laughter and now always give him a hard time about his NFL knowledge.
But Jarret gave him an opportunity to back his reasoning.
“I got it mixed up with the St. Clair Saints, because that is a high school around us,” Winslow said.
This season, Jarret is sixth on the team in total tackles, while Winslow was redshirted.
CMU also has two other family connections on the team.
Sophomore tight end Mike Kinville is the younger brother of Senior defensive lineman Joe Kinville, and freshman wide receiver-defensive back Colton Odykirk is the younger brother of junior tight end Connor Odykirk.