Notre Dame Football

Chase Claypool Taking 18 Hours & Battling Troy Pride Jr. This Spring

April 3, 2019
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Notre Dame receiver Chase Claypool has impressed all spring and had his best day on Saturday. Offensive coordinator Chip Long said Claypool has needed to focus more, but the 6-foot-5, 229-pounder believes he just needed sleep.  

“It’s more energy and stuff,” Claypool stated. “I’m taking a heavy load this year, so it’s about getting sleep. I finally got some sleep and I had some energy, so I had a good practice.”

A heavy academic load isn’t unheard of at Notre Dame, but Claypool’s schedule is extremely full this semester as he hopes his hard work will pay off next fall. 

“I’m taking eight classes throughout the semester,” explained Claypool. “It will be 18 hours, so then I’ll be part-time in the fall so I can really excel. It’ll be worth it, but it’s a grind now.” 

The lighter class load may help next fall, but Claypool is getting tested each day in practice by classmate Troy Pride Jr. 

Pride figures to be one of the nation’s top cornerbacks in 2019 and the two have embraced competing each practice this spring. 

“It’s just the ‘iron sharpens iron’ type of mentality,” said Claypool. “In 1-on-1s, he makes sure he’s matched up with me. He’s going to make me a better player every time no matter what route I have, especially in go balls. He’s one of the best go ball DBs in the country.”

Claypool admits there has always been some trash talking involved with Pride and the other defensive backs, but it’s a healthy edge and has allowed everyone to raise their game.

“There is always trash talking,” laughed Claypool. “I’m one of the biggest trash talkers on the team. I’ve gotten a little better since my freshman year. I’ll say a couple things during practice but after it’s all love.” 

In 2018, Claypool had a breakout season with 50 catches for 639 yards and four touchdowns. The staff has challenged him to be a 1,000-yard receiver along with moving to the boundary receiver spot, which is a position Claypool has played before this spring.

“I played it my freshman year and sophomore year,” Claypool explained. “Even last year, we would motion me into the boundary. It’s not a new idea, but it’s just my spot now.

“I already knew everything and it’s about how I do everything now. It’s about expanding. Having a big guy in the boundary is part of our offense. It was natural to put me there.” 

Claypool is raising his game, but other receivers are starting to emerge as well. Kevin Austin Jr., Lawrence Keys III, Braden Lenzy and Michael Young have all started to make big plays, which is music to Claypool’s ears.

“They’re coming along nice,” said Claypool. “They’ve all done a really good job and it’s exciting to see. We need depth. They have to keep it up.” 

 
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