Chase Claypool Signs with Jordan Brand

*words from Air.Jordan.com*

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY, CHASE.
THE STAR ROOKIE RECEIVER TALKS ABOUT HIS JOURNEY FROM CANADA TO THE NFL, REPRESENTING THE JUMPMAN ON THE FIELD AND HIS ROOKIE SEASON.

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Chase Claypool Sign with Jordan Brand


Growing up in Abbotsford, British Columbia, near the U.S.-Canada border, Chase Claypool knew that his chances of making it to the NFL, or even playing American college football, were slim. Living in a country where the preferred contact sport is hockey meant that, for much of Chase’s youth and prep career, he wouldn’t even play by the American football rules. To most of his opponents, Chase didn’t seem to play by their rules either.

Back then, Chase was already dominating at every level and once scored 10 touchdowns in a single game. His undeniable talent and physical stature eventually led him to tournaments in the States, where he’d find suitable competition. Still, attention from American college programs was slow to arrive. Finally, thanks to his family and local supporters, who uploaded his highlight tapes on Facebook, there was a way for recruiters to see Chase’s talent. Lacking exposure to the culture and traditions of American college football, Chase admits to not knowing about Notre Dame until after they started recruiting him. Once he stepped foot on campus, Chase just knew it was where he belonged.

That feeling of just knowing is what drove him to the NFL. It was against the odds and historical data; the season before he was drafted, only 10 of the league’s 1,696 players were Canadian. Some call it trusting your gut, and others say it’s sheer confidence and will. It can’t be taught, and you either have it, or you don’t. Chase uses a similar description when describing the attitude of a Jordan Brand athlete: “You know it when you see it,” he says. Now, after a breakout rookie season, the rest of the world sees it, too.

We caught up with Chase to learn about his unlikely path to the NFL, his love for Air Jordans and the importance of utilizing his platform for good. Welcome to the family, Chase.

Do you have a favorite memory or pair of Air Jordans?

When I was in 10th grade, I was saving up for the Air Jordan XI “Breds.” They were reselling for like $400 or $500, so I ended up getting a fake pair while I saved up more. I remember saving up and eventually getting the real deal. I still have them to this day.

What are some of your favorite recent Air Jordan releases?

I got my first Jordan Elite pack at the beginning of December, so it felt like an early Christmas for me. I like the Fire Red AJ4s and Off-White AJ5s that I got in there. I got some mid and low AJ1s too, so there are a lot of different shoes for me to rock. I’ve gotten a bunch of shoes that I didn’t expect to get. I was looking through the website, trying to guess what you guys were going to send me, and then I got a whole bunch of old and new releases. It was a nice little surprise.

There’s a certain style and swagger that comes with being a Jordan Brand athlete. How do you describe that?

You know it when you see it, but you can’t really describe it. The roster has only a select few athletes, and when you go through it, you see the talent and understand why they are Jordan Brand athletes.

Along with swagger, there’s a mindset and burning desire to pursue greatness. You defied the odds and made it to the NFL as a Canadian player. What made you believe that you could achieve that goal through such an untraditional route?

I always want to be different, in a good way. I want to be someone people can look up to.

You either have that desire, or you don’t. It’s not something you can teach. I recognized that and wanted to keep pursuing greatness from my early years in football, all the way up until now.

You played your rookie season in Jordan cleats and gloves. How does it feel to be representing the Jumpman on the field?

There’s a select few representing Jordan Brand in the league. When you look at the roster, those are the people killing it right now. So when you lace up those Jordans, you want to be at the same level as the other guys. It’s a family environment, but you’re also competing and trying to make each other better.

Jordan Brand prides itself in operating like a family. How did that influence your decision?

It was similar to my school decision. I wanted to go to a smaller school and know the people I was going to be around. It’s the same for this. I want to know the people I’m going to be working with, including the people who signed me. Jordan is a small family, and that makes it unique.

Your teammate Joe Haden is a member of the Jordan Brand family. Did you speak with him about signing?

Joe told me that they really take care of you at Jordan Brand. They look out for the guys, and it really is a family environment. You can always reach out if you need anything. They look out for charitable organizations and help players with them, too. The more I talked to Joe, the easier it was to make the decision.

Jordan Brand represents some of the top athletes across all sports. Are there any, past or present, that you are a fan of?

Zion [Williamson], Luka [Don?i?] and Davante Adams, to name a few.

You grew up playing basketball. How did your background in hoops influence your game in football?

I’ve always emphasized the importance of playing different sports, because you get to train different muscles in your body to do different types of movements. You can use basketball moves like a crossover on the field, as a press release. It translates almost directly, in terms of footwork, body movement and body control.

You were drafted by one of the most historic franchises in all of sports. How has the city of Pittsburgh and its blue collar mentality influenced you?

I was super lucky to be drafted by Pittsburgh, especially with the fan base and the history of the organization. They made the transition pretty easy, especially by being around all these veterans. Coach [Mike] Tomlin is one of the most decorated coaches in the league, in terms of producing good players, good receivers and putting together all of these winning seasons. All I have to do is work hard and let my game do the talking.

Since you got drafted, you’ve been documenting your journey on YouTube and other social media platforms. How important is it to connect with your fans directly and own the narrative of your career?

I think that developing your brand outside of the football field is important, because people don’t get to see what you look like underneath the helmet. Some of the headlines don’t tell the true story of who you are. Putting out content like that helps you gain a fanbase outside of football, one that likes your personality and not just who you are as a player. You can have a bad game and still have people supporting you.

How was the transition from college to the league?

I was super lucky to be drafted by Pittsburgh, especially with the fan base and the history of the organization. They made the transition pretty easy, especially by being around all these veterans. Coach [Mike] Tomlin is one of the most decorated coaches in the league, in terms of producing good players, good receivers and putting together all of these winning seasons. All I have to do is work hard and let my game do the talking.

You’ve been a vocal advocate for mental health awareness. Why is that cause so important to you?

You have to utilize the platform you’re on while you have it. There are causes like mental health that never get talked about, and there are contributions people can make that no one knows about. Using my platform to spread awareness and help people is the least I can do.

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Chase Claypool Sign with Jordan Brand

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