Ben Chappell slimmer, Trea Burgess faster, and other news from Indiana’s Pro Day

Ben Chappell went into this process realizing his speed and athleticism (or really, lack thereof) weren’t going to be the calling cards that landed him a job in the NFL. However, the Indiana quarterback realized that he couldn’t be quite as slow as he was at the end of last season and still expect to get drafted.

So the admittedly pudgy Chappell spent the last two weeks trimming weight and arrived at Indiana’s pro day Thursday tipping the scales at 224 pounds, down 15 from his listed playing weight this season and down 25 from the 250 he topped out at after offseason surgery on his foot.

“That was what I wanted to be,” Chappell said. “That was one of those things during the season, I was in a boot from Sunday to Thursday, so I just wasn’t able to really move around much, and really, honestly, needed the weight during the season. I think if I would’ve been this weight during the season, it would’ve been ugly. But it was something I needed to do. lose the pounds. I’m in the best shape of my life. It feels good to be really healthy.”

Chappell said his agent, Ethan Locke, set him up with an apartment in Arizona in January where he worked out with Oakland Raiders quarterback Charlie Frye. His agent also set him up with a service that delivered his meals for him, which Chappell said was a big reason why he was able to cut weight.

“It was calorie restricted,” Chappell said. “That made it pretty easy.”

The effect of the weight loss was obvious. Chappell, who is notoriously slow and not a big fan of running, appeared much quicker than expected in the 40-yard dash, though times weren’t released. He looked quick in agility drills as well, and looked mobile during rollouts in passing drills. He was also accurate as usual, especially in crossing routes. He overthrew a few deep balls, but mostly had a strong day, which is important because it was his first workout in front of scouts since the season. Chappell did not get an invite to a senior all-star game or to the NFL combine.

“He should be really proud of himself for what he did today,” said Frye, who was at Pro Day. “I think he really helped himself.”

Running back Trea Burgess also helped himself. He bulked up a few pounds to 232 since the season, but he looked much faster. He was mostly used as a short-yardage and blocking back during his Indiana career, but seemed much more explosive on Thursday.

“They said I had a pretty fast 40,” Burgess said. “They didn’t give me my time, but they said I ran a pretty good 40. And I’m actually bigger too. My body is stronger. … I gave it my all today.”

Wide receiver Tandon Doss, who has the best chance of any of the Hoosiers to go in the first two rounds, is having his own personal pro day on April 6 because he has not yet recovered from a surgery to repair a torn muscle between his stomach and groin. Offensive tackle James Brewer didn’t participate in basic testing such as the 40-yard dash or agility drills, opting instead to stand on the numbers he posted at the NFL Draft Combine. He did participate in position work, however, and came away proud of the results.

“I was just showing that, one, I was in shape,” Brewer said. “Two, I could do the drills and learn the drills and pick them up. Like today, I worked out with the guy from the Ravens and I did things I hadn’t trained for and I hadn’t practiced. I think that shows that I’m versatile and a quick learner. ”

Wide receiver Terrance Turner, who was also at the combine, did participate in all of the workouts and appeared to have improved on his times with a stronger 40-yard dash. He also had a strong showing in position drills while catching passes from Chappell. Cornerback Richard Council and Mitchell Evans appeared to acquit themselves well, and were kept afterward to do defensive back drills with a scout from the Houston Texans.

Also participating in pro day were defensive ends Terrance Thomas and Deonte Mack and center Jordan Marquette.

AUDIO: Ben Chappell

AUDIO: Charlie Frye

AUDIO: James Brewer

AUDIO: Trea Burgess

AUDIO: Terrance Turner

AUDIO: Richard Council


  1. Just learned from the HT that long time manager Red Groh or Grow (never learned how it was spelled) passed away. The gentleman was truly that and a legendary part of IU Athletics as well as a great friend to all IU athletes. I can still remember him in his little “private office” under the Fieldhouse on 7th.(before Assembly Hall) St. “Don’t worry about fixing your (sprained) ankle…it wont help [IU] one bit…it will only feed the illusion you run”.

    Rest in Peace good friend.

  2. Hey Ben, how come you did not start the 2010 season at this reduced weight? Maybe, if you had been in this kind of shape in September, you could have avoided a few of those big hits during the season.

  3. Podunker,

    Just put a sock in it!!! Chappell was 230 in spring ball before the 2010 season. Injured his foot and was in a boot during early summer. Did not have surgery because he would have missed some games and fall practice and was limited in his ability to run. Spent most of the season in a boot from Sunday through Thursday as well as nursing severly bruised ribs. Yet he got out there every game for his team and took the hits he needed to to give receivers time to come open and still managed to lead the Big Ten in passing thanks to him and his good receivers and a line that battled as well as they could. He did all this while attending grad school and excelling in the classroom. He gave his heart and soul to IU football to try to get it on the right track and you call him out for not losing weight in the midst of his circumstances. Give me a break!!

  4. whatever,

    Way to nail it. Ben has been a solid player and even better student during his time at IU.

    I can’t help but wonder how he would have developed under this new staff compared to Lynch and company.

  5. Mike P-

    Yes. A coach who has worked with Bradford, A. Petersen, Jermaine Greshem, and other NFL talent could surely do some interesting things with the likes of Doss, Belcher, Chappell, Brewer, etc.

  6. The only troublesome thing Mike P. and Becca Sitzin Deanna, is would the new staff have offered a spot to Chappell in the first place. He was not a highly touted recruit out of high school, even though the character and work ethic were known and there, but a guy like Lynch is the one who knows the importance of that brought Ben in. Not sure the new staff would do the same. Ben was not projected to be a 2 year starter and end up with an NFL shot when he was in High School. The kid worked and developed and used what he had. He wasn’t even a highlight in his own recruiting class at IU, but he left here as a fan favorite and as a very productive Big Ten quarterback. Great Kid.

  7. Whatever; while I appreciate your knee-jerk defense, I think you read things into my previous post that were not there. I was and still am a huge fan of Chappel. I applaud both his athletic and academic accomplishments at IU and wish him the best in the NFL. He is exactly the type of athlete that makes me proud to be a Hoosier. Good citizen, good student, dedicated to giving back to the the community and a leader on his team. But the truth is, he started the 2010 season overweight and out of shape, making him less mobile and susceptible to injury, especially behind a less-than-stout O-line. Maybe it was a coaching issue and he should have been given additional time to get in shape, maybe his foot was a lot worse than anyone let on. Maybe his backups were not capable of filling in against the creampuff teams IU played those first few weeks of the season. I don’t know, but it was obvious that he was not in shape when the season started. Had he been, perhaps his propsects in the upcoming draft might be a lot better.

  8. To Whatever,

    I’m in grad school with him. They treated him like a king. He missed projects, assignments, and class. They didn’t dock him at all. He left this semester to train for the draft, and yet the university was trying to figure out a way to “Allow” him to take 30 hours in 7 weeks. So don’t think him attending grad school was impressive. He didn’t do anything.

  9. Wow, got it in for Chappell huh Reality. 30 hours in a semester, I don’t think so. I know him too and he is taking online courses now, not grad school courses. I’m sure he missed some stuff as does every athlete because you can’t be in two places at one time, but that was a major diss. Wow.

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