Film Study: Notre Dame WR commit Chase Claypool
WR Chase Claypool, 6-5, 214; Abbotsford (British Columbia, Canada) Secondary.
The numbers: Claypool scored 13 touchdowns and racked up more than 1,200 receiving yards in his junior season, according to the Abbotsford News.
The rankings: 247Sports — Four stars, No. 43 wide receiver. Rivals — Four stars, No. 45 wide receiver.
First impression: Claypool is a big-bodied receiver who will make a nice target near the goal line. Claypool’s athleticism makes him better after the catch than expected. Claypool has a knack for making plays on offense, defense and special teams.
Strengths: Claypool doesn’t go down easy. The start of his highlights makes him look as much like a running back than a receiver. He’s elusive after the catch and as a returner. He has great speed for his size and is able to turn the corner on defenses and run away from defensive backs. He can also catch balls in traffic despite his quarterback not doing him many favors. Claypool doesn’t mind playing physical as shown by some of his hits on defense.
He did what? (:28) Claypool catches a short screen pass and heads upfield. He bounces off a pile of his teammates and a couple of defenders and avoids a pair of defenders diving at his legs as he sprints down the sidelines. He finishes in the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown … (1:22) Claypool picks up a punt with a defender near him and quickly evades him. He then recognizes a wall developing to his right and gets to the sideline to follow his blockers. He cuts back inside to avoid two more players before scoring on a return of 67 yards … (3:41) Claypool is stuck between two defenders on a deep pass. He misjudges the ball slightly and doesn’t get to leap above the defensive backs. Instead, Claypool adjusts and catches the ball while falling backwards. It’s an exercise of great concentration for the Irish wide receiver commit.
Competition level: Make no mistake, Claypool played against inferior competition at Abbotsford. He doesn’t even play at the highest level in British Columbia. But Claypool did test his talents this summer at several camps including the Irish Invasion and The Opening Finals in Oregon. Claypool didn’t dominate at the events, but he showed that he’s more than a physical specimen. His size allows him to compete with most defenders.
Left to prove: The jump in competition level will be the biggest storyline in Claypool’s development in college football. But there’s not much he can do to change that until he arrives at Notre Dame. In the meantime, Claypool can work on catching balls with consistency, taking advantage of his size by catching passes at high points and running cleaner routes. He can get away with sloppy play and still dominate at Abbotsford, but he will have a steep learning curve at Notre Dame. The Irish have discussed the potential of playing defense down the line, but a shot at receiver is warranted.
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