After a bidding war that saw some of the biggest American football programs vie for his services, Abbotsford Senior Secondary star receiver Chase Claypool announced Friday he will suit up for the iconic Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Claypool, who is entering his senior year, had been offered spots at more than a dozen football programs but decided Brian Kelly’s Notre Dame squad was the place for him, and chose to broadcast his verbal commitment on ESPN U.
The 6’5” athlete was hailed as a “four-star” recruit and touted as the top high school football prospect from Canada for the class of 2016. Claypool brings a degree of versatility, capable of playing as a receiver as well as on the defensive side in the linebacker position. In addition, his size and receiving talent make him a possibility at the tight end position.
Claypool made his announcement before The Opening, a Nike-sponsored showcase held in Oregon for top high school football players.
“This whole recruiting process has been a blessing really, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but I want to further my education and football career at the University of Notre Dame,” Claypool said, as he donned a Notre Dame cap.
Abbotsford senior football coach Jay Fujimara said he thought Claypool made a good decision.
His goal, said Fujimara, was two-fold, to land at an institution that had strong academics as well as a football program where he could find the best opportunity.
Notre Dame seemed to fit both bills.
The school is ranked No. 16 in overall academics across all American universities according to U.S. News & World Report.
“Notre Dame scouted Chase as an athlete,” said Fujimara.
They are looking for a big wide receiver but the possibility for Claypool to play on defence is also there, explained Fujimara.
Oregon and the University of Michigan were schools also at the top of Claypool’s list but he told ESPN that Notre Dame was pitched to him through a mutual friend, and that he was impressed with his meeting with offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock.
“I connected with him on a personal level and I thought that was really good,” said Claypool.
A verbal commitment is a non-binding agreement between the athlete and institution. Claypool must still receive and sign a National Letter of Intent from Notre Dame to formally end the recruiting process.