• Phil Houk

Chase Claypool: All-Time Irish Hero

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

By: Phil Houk of Fighting Irish Preview

Chase Claypool came from humble beginnings in British Columbia, Canada. Arguably a better basketball player as a kid, he averaged 47 points per game one season in AAU ball. But once in junior high, believe it or not, he scored 10 touchdowns in a game so his football skill was also apparent early on in his life. Claypool scored 26 touchdowns and threw for 3 more his senior year of high school and was a terror on defense. But tucked away so far up north, he was a little hard to find. Luckily, ND did find him and won his services thanks to an early connection Brian Polian had had with him, when Polian was the head coach at Nevada. At Notre Dame he became an immediate standout on special teams, leading the team in special teams tackles his freshman year. During that season in spot duty he also caught 6 passes. That stand out role on special teams continued all 4 seasons, and his role on offense expanded as a Sophomore. In 2017 he was the team’s 2nd leading receiver with 29 receptions. His junior year was a breakthrough when it became apparent that he was playing WR with a newly noticeable trait of ferocity. Yards after catches came in bunches as he played a physical brand of football, fighting for every inch. He finished out 2018 with 50 catches good for 639 yards and 4 TDs. As a Senior Claypool was spectacular. Ian Book’s “go to guy”, he seemed to win every 50/50 ball and had a nose for the end zone. Claypool totaled 1037 yards and 13 TDs. In his last game, the Camping World Bowl, he was the best player on the field posting a 146-yard effort and was named the game MVP. Claypool went on to post tremendous numbers at the NFL combine and was drafted 49th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers. A team that has been very happy with their pick! Through 12 games as an NFL rookie, Claypool has tallied 10 touchdowns.

For his extraordinary play on special teams, and dogged determination to develop his skills as a receiver that resulted in a great Notre Dame career, Chase Claypool is an All-Time Irish Hero.

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