Photo credit: Redskins/

I’d compare Ben Chappell to Jordan Hulls. Both Bloomington born and raised. Both Bloomington South grads-turned IU athletes. Both team leaders. Both beloved Hoosiers. The difference? Ben Chappell played on the gridiron, not the hardwood.

Chappell graduated from IU in June 2010, and finished with a stellar senior season. He closed out his career as Indiana’s career leader in completion percentage (61.1), 300-yard games (nine), 250-yard games (13) and 200-yard games (18), ranked second in passing yardage (7,251) and passing touchdowns (45).

So Chappell made his mark in the IU record books. Those weren’t the only books Chappell hit during his time in Bloomington. Ben was Awarded an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship as a National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete. He was also named as an ESPN Academic All-District V first team, and was a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award recipient. Not to mention, Chappell was an Academic All-Big Ten selection, where school and football are both considered.

Chappell left Bloomington with a bachelor of science in accounting from the renowned Kelley School of Business, and hopes of a career in the NFL. Not a bad tenure at IU. Chappell says his parents have had a huge impact on his career as a player and student, and enjoyed having them local.

Chappell’s profile on Linkedin

“They’ve never missed a game, so that’s about as good as it gets as far as support;” Chappell said.”Having my parents support around here has definitely helped.”

Chappell thought sometimes about what it would have been like to go somewhere outside of Indiana, but ultimately knew Indiana was the place for him.

“I don’t think I could have come to a better place than this,” Chappell said. “With the school and football overall, and the experience of being around my family and having my parents coming to every game, I don’t think I could have had it any better.”

Chappell was passed up on NFL draft day, but wasn’t ready to give in on a chance at a pro career quite yet. On July 26, 2011 he was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Washington Redskins, with his competition coming in the form of a Donovan McNabb on his way out of Washington, John Beck from BYU, and well, Rex Grossman. Despite the quarterback issues in Washington, Mike Shanahan confirmed that the team cut Chappell on August 30, 2011.

This marked the end of Chappell’s NFL run. Fortunately for him, his work in the classroom at Indiana landed him another job. Not to mention, some guy named Robert Griffin III was taken with the second overall pick in 2012, and the rest was history.

Ben is currently an accountant for BKD CPAs & Advisors, and resides in Denver, Colorado. Not too shabby.

Your move, Jordan Hulls.


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