BC local already setting records
By Mo Hussain, Sports Reporter
One of the key reasons as to why the Pittsburgh Steelers have gotten off to such a great start this season is because of BC Native Chase Claypool, who has played lights out since being drafted 49th overall by the Steelers in this years NFL draft.
In an interview on the Pat McAfee show, Claypool gives a big credit to his Canadian supporters for helping motivate him to play at a high level: “I see all of the love after every game that people show me. It drives me forward and it allows me to have the success that I have. I’m happy that I can represent the way that I have so far,” said Claypool.
Claypool grew up in Abbotsford BC, and there were some that could tell from a young age that he had potential to make it far. “He was an anomaly as a child from day one,” said Chel Sanghera, Vice President of the Fraser Valley Football Community Association. “My husband would say, ‘I’d call a play, and then Chase would do something I wouldn’t think. I thought he’d only get this far and then he’d be at the end zone already.’”
Claypool played community football for the Abbotsford Falcons, and then moved onto Abbotsford Secondary where he familiarized himself with the American rules. One of the big hurdles that Claypool had to deal with on his road to professional success was that there weren’t many before him that had actually made it to the NFL. “I feel like there’s so many athletes in America that have played this sport since they were four or five years old,” said Jacob Carvery, Claypool’s stepbrother in an ESPN article—he helped Claypool train in his younger days. “It gives a lot of kids from Canada hope to one day do the same,” he said.
However, with the help of Sanghera and a coach for his Stepbrother, Eddie Ferg, word about his talents managed to get to the right people and Claypool ended up committing to Notre Dame university in 2015.
At Notre Dame, Claypool finished seventh in Notre Dame history in career receptions, scored the sixth most touchdowns in a season as a player for Notre Dame in 2019, and was awarded the Camping World Bowl MVP in 2019.
Fast forward to today, and Claypool is starting to show signs as a breakout star in his first couple of games as an NFL player, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for him as a Canadian icon.