Abbotsford football star Chase Claypool has signed an endorsement deal with Nike’s Jordan brand. (Air Jordan website)

Abbotsford football star Chase Claypool has signed an endorsement deal with Nike’s Jordan brand. (Air Jordan website)

Langley’s Chase Claypool signs with Nike’s Jordan brand

Abbotsford Senior Secondary School grad had to settle for knock-off shoes when he was a student

Langley’s Chase Claypool has signed an endorsement deal with Nike’s Jordan brand.

The 2016 Abbotsford Senior Secondary School student and Langley native made the announcement via social media on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Celebrating homegrown football star Chase Claypool

He tweeted that he asked Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin for advice before making it official.

“When I asked coach Tomlin which apparel company I should sign with he told me… “when Jordan calls, you answer.” I Gotchu coach,” he posted.

In an interview on the Air Jordan website, Claypool talked about his formative years playing football and basketball in Abbotsford.

Playing different sports helps him on the football field, he explained, referring to basketball moves “like a crossover on the field, as a press release. It translates almost directly, in terms of footwork, body movement and body control.”

Claypool described himself as “super lucky” to be drafted by Pittsburgh.

The season before he was drafted, only 10 of the league’s 1,696 players were Canadian, the website noted.

Back when Claypool was a Grade 10 student, he couldn’t afford a pair of Air Jordan XI Breds, so he had to settle for knockoff shoes.

“They were reselling for like $400 or $500, so I ended up getting a fake pair while I saved up more,” Claypool recalled.

“I remember saving up and eventually getting the real deal. I still have them to this day.”

Claypool and the Steelers were eliminated in the NFL’s wildcard round by the Cleveland Browns, but he had an impressive rookie regular season with 873 yards receiving, nine touchdown catches and two rushing touchdowns.

He was the first Canadian-born player in NFL history and the first rookie in Steelers history to score four touchdowns in a single game as well as the first Steeler, novice or veteran, to hit that mark since 1968.

RELATED: Abbotsford’s Chase Claypool catches two touchdowns in playoff loss

Claypool was named rookie of the year by the Pittsburgh chapter of Pro Football Writers of America, taking the hometown Joe Greene Great Performance Award.

It takes its name from the legendary “Mean” Joe Greene, who was a defensive tackle for the Steelers from 1969 to 1981, earning four Super Bowl rings (1975, 1976, 1979, 1980) and a place on the NFL All-Time Team.

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