This fourth-year linebacker, and soon-to-be Washington County resident in the off-season, is beating the odds to keep his NFL dreams alive—through determination, luck and perseverance.
Chase was a standout in high school, playing quarterback on offense and linebacker on defense. His father had played college football at Brigham Young University and helped guide Chase’s desire to continually improve. While on a full-ride football scholarship to the University of Utah, a turning point came during a game where the Utes starting defensive safety became injured. Chase was playing backup quarterback and was asked if he could make the switch to safety. He answered with a resounding “Yes”—and went on to become a defensive star and All PAC-12 honoree during his 2018 senior season.
With the upcoming 2019 NFL draft, Chase dreamed of going pro. Then, the misfortune of a major back injury in late 2018 left him undrafted and devastated. However, as luck might have it, the New Orleans Saints saw something promising in Chase’s play and character. They signed him to a free agent contract and arranged for two back surgeries that year, and in 2020, Chase made the 53-man team roster. Yet, because of later hip, groin and ankle injuries, he only played in five games over his first three years.
“Things were inconsistent, unsure and unstable for me,” Chase explains. He was on the Injured Reserve roster, then eventually released, and then signed back again to the practice squad. He had hip surgery during this past off-season and worked relentlessly to rehabilitate himself into NFL playing condition. His determined efforts paid off as the Saints re-signed him. Playing linebacker, he had a 40-yard interception and return, and several tackles in pre-season games, solidifying his spot on the roster once again.
Chase’s NFL journey has been a rough road, with many unexpected turns, but for now, he’s 100% again and happy. Watch for number 42 playing on special teams and filling in at linebacker. He is grateful to the Saints for sticking with him and giving him the chance to fulfill his NFL aspirations.
He says, “I’m going to go out there and play my best football and see what happens.”