Chase Claypool committed to Notre Dame from The Opening on Friday evening, a very big pickup for the Fighting Irish’s 2016 recruiting class. Very big might not actually cover it, because at 6-foot-6, Claypool will immediately become one of the largest skill players in the country when he steps foot onto campus next summer.
Claypool, who hails from British Columbia and was a mostly anonymous football player before offers came flooding in, picked Notre Dame over Rutgers, Michigan, Oregon and several other top programs. He was visited by Mike Elston, recruited hard by Mike Denbrock, and came to camp in South Bend in late June as part of a star-studded Irish Invasion group.
Right now, Claypool is standing out as a receiver in Beaverton, matching up with some of the elite talent in the country, likely quite a jump from prep football in Canada. And while the Irish certainly think he can be an immediate mismatch on the edge of the offense, they’re also pretty sure he can tackle just about any position he sets out to play.
At the Irish Invasion, the defensive staff was looking at him as a safety, a scary combination of length and athleticism. Oregon reportedly likes him as an outside linebacker. And he’s a few protein shakes away from being the type of lanky pass rusher the Irish need, especially after Bo Wallace and Notre Dame parted ways this summer.
However you crack it, Claypool has shown himself to be a difference-maker this week, and he’s a game-changer for an Irish recruiting class that’s still somewhat short on star power.
His commitment makes it one dozen for the class of 2016 — joining Florida receiver Kevin Stepherson and fellow Opening camper Tony Jones Jr. on the offensive side of the ball (for now).
“It’s surreal the fact that I thought I was gonna go to a Canadian university and have to pay for my education and stuff,” Claypool told Irish Illustrated. “The fact that I get it for free at Notre Dame, that’s kinda crazy.”