QU linebacker nears school record for career tackles

QUINCY (WGEM) – When Peyten Chappel arrived at Quincy University in 2018, he hoped to leave his mark on the Hawks football program.

In the process, QU center linebacker left his mark on many opposing quarterbacks, running backs and receivers.

Chappel, a fifth-year graduate student from Mount Zion, Ill., will be one of 18 Hawks seniors to be recognized ahead of the season finale against William Jewell at 1 p.m. Saturday at QU Stadium.

“I’m looking forward to playing like I always do,” said Chappel, who is three tackles short of setting the school record. “I know this might be the last time I put on the uniform, so there is some sadness for sure.

“Playing football is something I’ve been doing since I was a little boy. It will definitely be an adjustment if it is.

Chappel, who played 43 games for QU, enters the game against William Jewell (1-9 overall, 0-5 Great Lakes Valley Conference) with 374 career tackles, two behind Cody Leonard’s record 376 established from 2015 at 18. He also has 221 solo tackles, two shy of Leonard’s career mark.

Three solo tackles on Saturday put Chappel at the top of the standings.

“It (the record) means a lot to me,” Chappel said. “I wanted to leave my mark when I came to QU. I wasn’t sure what to expect coming here, but it’s special.

The 6-foot, 225-pound defenseman is found all over the Hawks’ all-time defensive rankings.

Chappel has nine career interceptions, which ranks him fourth all-time and fifth in single-season tackles with 63. He also recorded 41 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and six digs fumbles while wreaking havoc on opposing offenses. For good measure, he also returned two kickoffs for eight yards as a freshman.

Earlier this year, Chappel was named GLVC Defensive Player of the Week after the Hawks’ 28-13 win at Walsh, Ohio. In the win, Chappel recorded 12 tackles (seven solo), three tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble, and a 42-yard interception return.

“Peyten is just a great person and a leader for our team and our university,” said QU head coach Gary Bass. “I can’t say enough about what he means to us.”

“As a student, he is finishing his MBA (Masters in Business Administration) and he is a captain twice. Also, I think he’s the best linebacker in the conference and should be named Defensive Player of the Year.

Bass admits that Chappel’s blossoming into a solid center linebacker surprised the coaching staff somewhat.

“He came here about 180 pounds as a freshman, but he’s gained about 45 pounds and really grown into his role,” Bass said. “As a defensive quarterback, he really has a great ability to put our defense in the right spot.”

Bass also praises Chappel’s return to QU when he could have taken a graduate transfer and played elsewhere this season.

“But Peyten came back to finish his MBA and play another year,” Bass said. “He’s just the kind of guy he is.”

For Chappel, part of the return was unfinished business.

“I came back because some of us who had been here for five or six years (Covid rules, graduate transfers) wanted to finish what we started,” Chappel said. “When we came here, we wanted to right the ship.”

Unfortunately, a long list of debilitating injuries has derailed the season for the Hawks, who are 4-6 overall and 2-3 in the GLVC heading into the Finals.

“It’s been a tough year,” Chappel admitted. “We had high expectations that just didn’t materialize. But we keep pushing forward and we want to win this game so the guys can build on this game for next year.

After Chappel last took the pads off on Saturday, he’s not sure what the future holds.

A Canadian Football League team spoke with Chappel and some NFL teams, including the Detroit Lions, have been in touch on campus to scout teammate BJ Wilson, an offensive tackle.

And if a career as a professional footballer isn’t in the cards, there’s this MBA to fall back on.

“I’m just going to go out into the business world and try to make my mark there, just like football,” Chappel said.

Last spring, at the QU Sports Banquet, Chappel received the prestigious Jack Mackenzie Award for Male Athlete of the Year.

“It was a very special honor,” Chappell said. “Receiving this honor in front of your peers was unreal and a big deal. I was honored to receive it.

Peyton Chappel has indeed left his mark at Quincy University.

Copyright 2022 WGEM. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply