Over the next two weeks, Chase Claypool’s helmet and jersey will get to show off his Canadian pride. In a new initiative created by the league, more than 200 players, coaches, and executives will be able to recognize their heritage through decals and pins on his helmet and jersey. The NFL announced the news moments ago:
Claypool was born in Abbotsford, British Columbia and played his high school football in Canada, too. Here’s a video of some of his high school highlights, playing on a different level than anyone else on the field.
He didn’t come stateside until college, choosing Notre Dame over a slew of offers, picking the Fighting Irish over Michigan, Nebraska, and Oregon among others. He broke out his final year at Notre Dame, going for over 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns, becoming the Steelers’ second round pick in 2019.
He exploded his rookie season with 11 total touchdowns, including a four-touchdown game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He took a step back his sophomore season and has had a quiet start through three games his this season, though the same can be said about virtually all the Steelers’ skill players.
According to the league, this heritage recognition will take place over the next two weeks, Weeks 4 and 5. As Pelissero notes, Claypool is one of many players participating, including QB Kyler Murray and WR Amon-Ra St. Brown. NFL players from Canada has become increasingly common, with 29 active players in the league born there.
OT Chukwuma Okorafor is the Steelers’ other foreign-born player, living in Nigeria until moving to the United States in 2010. It’s not clear if he’ll also be celebrating his heritage this weekend. Well-known foreign-born players in team history include OT Tunch Ilkin (Turkey) and DT Ernie Stautner (Germany).
UPDATE (2:22 PM): According to the NFL’s press release, there are four Steelers participating in the program: DT Larry Ogunjobi, OLB David Anenih, Okorafor, and Claypool.