VIDEO: Celebrating homegrown football star Chase Claypool

VIDEO: Celebrating homegrown football star Chase Claypool

Langley parade a surprise celebration for newly-signed Pittsburgh Steelers receiver

Chase Claypool was about to go out the front door of his family’s Langley home on Sunday afternoon, May 10, when his mother, Jasmine, intercepted him.

“No,” she said, firmly.

“Not now.”

Her 6 ft. 4 inch, 238-pound son didn’t ask any questions and did as he was told.

After all, it was Mother’s Day.

“Believe me, it was my day and he had to listen,” Jasmine said later, smiling.

A few minutes afterwards, her dutiful son heard horns honking, and this time, he was allowed to go outside and see a surprise parade in his honour, passing by.

More than 30 vehicles took part, many of them familiar faces; coaches, friends, and family members.

They were decorated with balloons and messages of encouragement for Claypool, who had just signed to play with the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL.

“Oh my God,” a delighted Claypool said, calling the parade “super cool.”

In an interview before the surprise unfolded, Claypool smiled when he talked about how he has often been overlooked in his career, and how he has overcome it.

“I’ve been doing that my whole life,” he told the Langley Advance Times.

Claypool, who grew up playing in Abbotsford and for now, calls Langley home, recalls being a “low-exposure” player in secondary school – a situation that inspired him to work that much harder to get recognition.

His motto became “create opportunities and persevere.”

He went on to have a storied run with the Abbotsford Panthers senior varsity football team, leading the club to a provincial final game in 2015 and also being named the AA football player of the year that season.

As a Canadian football player, there was “not a very big spotlight at all” on him as far as U.S. college teams were concerned, so Claypool took matters into his own hands, posting his high school highlights on Facebook.

That got him to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, where he flourished.

Claypool was Notre Dame’s leading receiver in 2019 with 66 catches for 1,037 yards and 13 TDs.

He has 150 career receptions for 2,159 yards and 19 touchdowns.

On April 23, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the NFL draft, the 17th player taken in the round, 49th overall.

“I’m super excited,” Claypool said about joining a team he’s followed since he was a kid, noting the Steelers have “a long history of developing receivers.”

He was reluctant to discuss the details of the contract, other than to say, it was online and “public knowledge.”

One website that tracks NFL contracts put the Claypool deal at $6.6 million US.

After he was signed, Claypool posted a video of some career highlights online that appeared to refer to his mom, Jasmine, writing “she’ll never have to work another day in her life.”

In several interviews, Claypool has described how his drive to excel was fuelled by the untimely death of his 17-year-old sister, Ashley, who took her own life.

Claypool, who was 13 when it happened, bears a tattoo on his right arm that reads: “A thousand words won’t bring you back. I know, because I tried. Neither will a thousand tears. I know, because I’ve cried. Until we meet again.”

In an interview posted to the Steelers website, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly described how Claypool matured into a reliable player who can be counted on to make the big plays where they are needed most.

“If you look at our games, when it was on the line, Chase Claypool made the plays necessary for us to be successful,” Kelly described. “Chase stepped up and made the big plays when we needed him.”

Claypool joins a Steelers offence in search of another playmaker following an eventful 2019 when the Steelers finished 8-8 after losing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a right elbow injury at halftime of Week 2.

Roethlisberger, who turned 38 last month, is on schedule for a full recovery from surgery.

Claypool gives Pittsburgh a big target on the outside to complement JuJu Smith-Schuster. This is the third time in four years the Steelers have used their second-round selection on a wide receiver.

More photos from the surprise parade can be seen online.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

LangleyNFLpro sport

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley-Aldergrove MP Tako van Popta will be at a ceremony marking 70 years since Canadian soldiers fought at the Battle of Kapyong, held at the Gapyeong Memorial in Langley’s Derek Doubleday Arboretum on Friday, April 16. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Langley battle memorial marks 70 years since pivotal clash in Korean War

The Gapyeong Memorial will host a small, private ceremony this Friday

Prince George Cougars triumph over the Langley-based Vancouver Giants Monday night, by the score of 4-1. That follows a similar defeat on Saturday by the same team. (Cougar’s Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
Vancouver Giants fall in 4-1 loss to Prince George

WHL hockey team goes up against Victoria in Kamloops on Thursday

COVID-19 virus (file photo).
COVID cases recorded at 5 Langley schools

14 schools remain on Fraser Health exposure list

Trinity Western University’s Student Association organized a celebration parade for graduating students Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Trinity Western University/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
University student association hosts grad parade at Langley campus

Students honoured with special Saturday event

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July, 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Judge to rule on final witness in Langley child murder trial

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis has lasted far longer than expected

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

In a 2019 photograph, Yin Yin Din held a picture of her brother Kyaw Naing Din, 54, and her late father Hla Din who passed away in 2014, during a trip to Victoria. (The News files)
Family of B.C. man killed by cop appeals to Attorney General for help

The Din family want B.C. Attorney General David Eby to forward their case to Crown

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Of 46 arrests made between March 16 and 19 at Metrotown mall in Burnaby, 27 suspected shoplifters are now facing charges. (Twitter/Burnaby RCMP)
RCMP arrest 46 people in 4 days during Metrotown shoplifting crackdown

$4,800 in stolen merchandise was recovered and returned to businesses inside of the mall

Kao Macaulay has been charged in relation to a home break-in on March 30 in Abbotsford in which five kittens were stolen. (Facebook photo)
‘Prolific offender’ charged with theft of 5 newborn kittens in Abbotsford

Kao Macaulay, 23, is accused of breaking into home on March 30

Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s minister of mental health and addictions (Screen shot)
Minister of mental health tells Surrey audience COVID-19 ‘has made everything worse’

More than 23,000 people in B.C. are receiving medication to treat opioid addiction

Most Read