A couple of months ago, not many college football fans that follow recruiting had heard of Chase Claypool. Heck, not many college football coaches had heard of him either.
He has gone from unknown to possibly the top prospect out of Canada in a short amount of time and it’s easy to see why. He is an impressive physical specimen at his age and could project at several positions at the next level.
Claypool is monstrous for a wide receiver with a frame to get a lot bigger. That’s why so many project him to other positions. He may just outgrow the position. He has very good speed and surprising lateral agility for a player his size. He’s an athlete that can compete with anyone north or south of the 49th parallel.
The level of football he plays at his high school is not that very good, but he truly is man amongst boys on the field, just like he should be.
He isn’t a burner, but can get deep and is an outstanding jump ball receiver that uses his body well to shield defenders away from the football as a receiver. He is also great after the catch. It’s not surprising that he has the strength to break tackles, but he also has good vision and can make the first defender miss.
He is a raw as a route runner, which is to be expected for a player who hasn’t played a ton of football. It’s something he’ll need to improve on because he isn’t overly explosive out of his breaks. He is such a big guy who can bring down the football in tight coverage, but he doesn’t want to have to win with body position and by flat out being bigger every time. He is a natural hands catcher that has really good ball skills.
He plays safety on defense for his high school, but you can see the kind of traits that make him an exciting prospect at linebacker. His speed in pursuit and how physical a tackler he is project well for him as a front seven player.
He may even eventually be the kind of player who lines up off the edge and rushes the passer. His speed and length could be a great combination for him if that’s something he ends up doing at the next level.
I think he is either going to be a move tight end if he stays on offense, but might actually be best suited to play outside linebacker on defense.
Claypool has enormous potential because his raw tools are so fantastic. It’s rare that a player that big with his frame can run like he does. He could end up being a great player on either side of the football. I just hope he finds a home on one side and the program he chooses lets him stick with it and develop everything he needs to. It might take him some time to see the field, but he could eventually be an impact player at the college level.
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Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).