My brother has a talent for getting people to talk to him. Part of that talent lies in his being unafraid to talk to anyone, anywhere. As we have long said in our family, Ryan has never met a stranger.
That talent pays off in many wonderful ways, but today it pays off for Grayson Local. Ryan recently had a conversation with Grayson High School quarterback and Clemson University commitment Chase Brice, and the pair covered a lot of ground about faith, family and football. Below is their conversation in its entirety.
Ryan: First off, congratulations on your signing with Clemson University. I know this is a very exciting time for you and your family. You were quoted as saying, “Clemson was the right spot for me,” by Clemson.247sports.com. Can you tell us what made you decide on being a Clemson Tiger over the other prestigious universities such as Michigan State, West Virginia, California, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and countless others?
Chase: Clemson was just the overall perfect fit for me. I fell in love with Clemson instantly. To the coaching staff, fans, atmosphere, everything. Coach Swinney prides himself on being a family and playing for one another. It obviously shows in how they play. The few times I visited I was re-assuring myself that this was the perfect place to play.
Ryan: Upon attending Clemson, do you know what field of study you want to pursue?
Chase: I think I would like to study in either education, orthopedic field or some type of business. Not totally sure just yet.
Ryan: As a side note, do you have a prediction on the Tigers National Championship game on January 11th against Alabama?
Chase: I had Clemson winning 23-20 but what a great game. I was so proud of how they fought. They’ll be back next year for sure!
Ryan: How has Coach Conn and his staff at Grayson High school helped mold and shape you as an athlete/quarterback? Out of his/their teachings, what do you value the most and how do you see it helping you in the future?
Chase: A lot of people know Coach Conn is my uncle, but some don’t know. Having him as a coach is great. I really enjoy playing under him and I know our team does too. What he does well is teaching us life lessons. He’s “been there and done that”, so he knows what we are going through as a teen and student athlete. Also, a reason why I chose Clemson is he and coach Swinney are very similar coaches in how they coach.
Ryan: What has been your most memorable moment so far as a Grayson Ram?
Chase: My most memorable moment as a Ram right now has to be beating Archer two years in a row. Especially this past year, because I got an opportunity to take over the game at the end and drive us down to kick the field goal.
Ryan: Mom and Dad have to be pretty proud of you and the young man you’ve become. What advice have they given you off the field that has shaped you into the man you are today?
Chase: My dad has been very influential in my life for sure. Even if he just looks at me I can tell what he’s saying. We have a very strong relationship. He always wants to help me in whatever I am doing; my mom as well. They are always there for me no matter what they may be going through. Both have taught me that somebody is always watching and I’m not the only one with the last name “Brice”. I think about that a lot when I’m out and about. It just reminds me to represent myself and my family well.
Ryan: I’m sure as a kid you loved playing football. Can you tell us about your relationship with your dad/family and when he/they started to realize your true potential as a gifted quarterback?
Chase: When I was young I always had a ball in my hand. I actually used to always throw with my Aunt Halie and Uncle Mick as a young’un. I’m not really sure if my parents or family ever saw my true potential to be gifted as a QB. My dad always told me he never liked the word potential because it’s kind of like a “what if” word. So basically when I first started playing QB my dad wanted me to be the best I could be. He took me to camps around the state to help me gain confidence and to see other competition out there. I would say when I first new that I had an opportunity to maybe play at the next level was my freshman year when I got to play the last 6 games. I thought I did really well and I only progressed from there.
Ryan: Tell us about your recent experience attending the elite junior classic football game. While you were there what athletes stood out to you?
Chase: The elite game was great. I really enjoyed playing in it. A few of the athletes that stood out to me were Alabama commit Xavier McKinney, Tobias Oliver of Northside Warner-Robbins High School, Jacob Gregory from Centennial High School, and Glynn Academy athlete Deejay Dallas.
Ryan: Did you try to recruit any of them to come to Clemson University with you?
Chase: I tried recruiting Xavier McKinney and LeAnthony Williams!
Ryan: What goals have you set for yourself for your senior season at Grayson?
Chase: My goals are to throw for over 3,000 yards; rush for 250+ yards in a season; throw 35 TDs; have a 70% completion percentage; and most importantly WIN THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!!!
Ryan: Finally, please share any advice that you have to the young athletes who’ll be reading this that aspire to be in shoes similar to yours one day as they hope to pursue a collegiate/professional career.
Chase: I would say DREAM BIG. Even though I am now committed, I still dream big. When I was young my goal was to make it to the NFL — and it still is. As an athlete it’s just what we think about. Besides sports, what I would say is stay focused in the classroom. Really hit the books, because it will help you in the long run. Also don’t get wrapped up in the wrong crowd. Really separate yourself and the right people will follow you (Romans 12:2- “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may discern what is Good, Pleasing and Perfect Will of God”) Enjoy middle school and high school. I’m almost a senior and I can’t believe it. It really does go by fast. Lastly, in whatever you do keep God first in your life.
Oh, and listen to your parents! They always want what’s best for you at all times — especially in recruiting!