BEAVERTON, Ore. – Notre Dame added four-star athlete Chase Claypool during the final day at The Opening on Friday.
“I chose Notre Dame because all of the people giving me advice on the recruiting process told me you’ll know when you find the school,” Claypool said. “When I rolled up to Notre Dame I had butterflies.”
The 6-foot-5 ½, 214-pound prospect announced his commitment on ESPN, picking Notre Dame over finalists Michigan, Rutgers, Oregon and Washington. The Ducks finished second.
Claypool took his first visit to Notre Dame in June for the Irish Invasion, and the Irish emerged then as the behind-the-scenes leader on the heels of the one-on-one time Claypool spent with associate head coach Mike Denbrock.
“We had dinner together at the hotel on campus, so I had the chance to actually get to know him and his family,” Claypool said. “On a personal level, I feel like I already know him well and am excited for him to be my coach.”
Eddie Ferg, founder of Air Raid Academy in Vancouver, British Columbia, works as Claypool’s trainer and mentored him throughout the recruiting process.
“What sealed the deal for Notre Dame was Denbrock,” Ferg said. “Him kind of being that father figure deal really sealed the deal in my opinion.
“Being at Notre Dame, it’s pretty unique. As he went up the driveway on campus, that’s when he knew it was a special place. He absolutely loved the college atmosphere and the students. The students were really welcoming not knowing who he was. And the players were great. The ones he hung out with the first night he really enjoyed.”
Claypool worked out at wide receiver at the Irish Invasion but has the skillset to develop into a hybrid tight end in Notre Dame’s offense. There is potential for Claypool to switch sides of the ball in college and play strong-side linebacker.
Claypool visited his top three schools – Michigan, Notre Dame and Oregon – during a two-week span in June, but it was Notre Dame that stood out most.
“That visit to Notre Dame changed a lot for him in terms of what he wanted and what he was looking for in a school,” Ferg said.
Brian Kelly, Denbrock and Irish recruiting coordinator Mike Elston watched Claypool perform in early June at Sound Mind, Sound Body outside Detroit. Elston visited Claypool’s school during the spring evaluation period.
Claypool is Notre Dame’s second receiver commitment and 12th verbal overall.
Scout ranks Claypool as a four-star prospect and the No. 15 tight end in his class.