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'I predict he's going to be one of the great ones': Mayor thrilled Abbotsford-born Chase Claypool is NFL-bound

Last Updated Apr 26, 2020 at 11:04 pm PDT

Chase Claypool talks to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 in Indianapolis. (Detroit Lions via AP)

Chase Claypool was picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round Friday night

Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun was thrilled when he saw the news, and looks forward to cheering Claypool on

Chosen 49th overall, Claypool became the highest-drafted Canadian since 2011

ABBOTSFORD (NEWS 1130) — Four Canadians were scooped up by NFL teams this draft weekend, but the highest pick among them is Abbotsford-born Chase Claypool.

Chosen 49th overall, Claypool was picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round Friday night. becoming the highest-drafted Canadian since 2011.

He was Notre Dame’s leading receiver in 2019, but before that, he went to Abbotsford Senior Secondary School–the alma mater of the city’s current mayor Henry Braun.

“I heard he was one of the best that had ever come out Abby Senior and of course, I’m a grad of Abby Senior, mind you in in 1968, so that’s a long time ago. Abby Senior’s got a special spot in my heart,” Braun told NEWS 1130.

He said he stood up and cheered when he saw Claypool was picked.

“I think they’ve got a gem of a football player. He is a diamond in the rough and I predict he’s going to be one of the great ones,” he said.

“I am very happy for him. And his family. I saw I saw his mom and dad being interviewed and they just look like a great couple. I can see why he’s the kind of individual that he is.”

Braun is pleased Claypool’s success is boosting the city’s profile.

“There’s some great things happening in our city, including athletics. So I think it’s great. It’s going to be great publicity. One more feature that we can put on our promotional material to say, ‘Hey, this is a great place! There’s great schools here, there’s great athletic programs. Having Chase [Claypool] come out of that football program is just testament to that,” he said.

In the past, Braun has rooted for the Miami Dolphins or the Dallas Cowboys, but allegiance to Claypool will change that.

“I’m definitely going to be following the Steelers,” he said. There’s a little part of me that wishes he might have been in Seattle because then we could drive down and see him. But now we’ll have to wait.”

Unfortunately for Braun and other Abbotsford-based fans, the Steelers aren’t scheduled to play in Seattle until 2023.

With files from The Canadian Press