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Notre Dame Football

Claypool Confident in Book & Irish Offense

November 6, 2019

Notre Dame receiver Chase Claypool has never been afraid to voice himself on or off the field as he's stood over defenders after blocks or shoving the ball in the chest of a cornerback after a big catch. 

Claypool carries himself with supreme confidence and he wasn't afraid to stand up for his quarterback last week. 

The 6-foot-4, 229-pounder took to Social Media last week to tweet his support for Ian Book and the two came up with huge plays during Saturday's win over Virginia Tech. 

"I just wanted to support a brother of mine," Claypool said of his tweet. "No one should have to go through that. He handled it really well. I think it's kind of silly that people put these kids under that type of pressure and scrutiny after a tough loss."

Book probably felt the pressure of the world come off his shoulders as he crossed the goal line with 29 seconds left, but Claypool might have been the happiest person in Notre Dame Stadium. 

"I was happy he could cap it off," stated Claypool. "It proves all the haters wrong and all the naysayers. If you lose, they’re going to hate you, like he said. If you win, they're going to love you. 

"We're not too caught up and worried about it, but I'm happy he was able to finish that drive off." 

The highlight of the game was Book's touchdown run, but it would have never been possible without two enormous catches from Claypool earlier on the drive.

Claypool used all of his frame to get one foot inbounds to make a fantastic catch on the sideline, but then he made a big catch on 4th-and-10 to get the ball inside the Hokies 10. 

"We called that a lot last year and it usually always worked," Claypool said of the fourth down play. "As soon as it was called on the board and signaled in, I knew it was going to work because of the coverage they were playing." 

The game-winning 18-play, 87-yard drive was frustrating and yet thrilling. 

While it had fans and the coaching staff on the edge of their seats, Claypool and the offense had zero doubt they would make the plays to win.

"A lot of composure went into that drive," explained Claypool. "I feel like Jafar (Armstrong) coming with the first fourth down conversion -  if he drops that, the game is over.

"The amount of pressure on each one of us was pretty huge. The fact we made them was pretty cool."

It would be pretty easy to lack confidence or motivation heading into the last drive following the Michigan game, but the Irish looked at it as a chance to prove themselves.

"We just got excited," Claypool said. "We said we had to get excited because we knew we were going to score. We wanted to have fun with it.

"There was no anxiety or nervousness in the huddle. It was cool the way the offensive line handled it. They were physical and got  into everyone along with the way Ian handled it." 

Claypool recorded eight catches for 118 yards and while he might not consider it his best game, the Canadian admitted he made his best plays on Saturday. 

"I don't think it was my best game, but I think I made some of my biggest plays," said Claypool. "It would never happen without Ian throwing me the perfect balls or the linemen holding it down or Jafar making that fourth down conversion." 

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