PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A star receiver on the unbeaten Union High School football team in 2018 to a Division I scholarship to play for Scott Frost in Nebraska, Darien Chase thought he had it all—but what he was missing was right at home. Chase is starting fresh with Portland State after staying off the field for nearly a year.
“For a lot of people, football is really what keeps them moving and waking up in the morning," Chase said. “Part of me, I am jealous. I am really, really, jealous because they get to play and have fun and be part of a team.”
Previously, the 19-year-old thought his future was in Lincoln, Nebraska.
"My daily life was kind of like what it was for everyone now, because I was trying to figure out what to do with my days," Chase said. "I didn’t have school and all I really had to do was workout and figure out what I was going to do with my future.”
After suiting up for four games with the Cornhuskers as a true freshman, family was missing from the wide receiver's new life.
"In October, my aunt passed," Chase said. "I couldn’t make it to say goodbye or anything, so from that point on, it was hurt every day so that was probably the point where I was like, I don’t know how much longer I can do this.”
Chase took to Twitter to thank the Big Red coaching staff for the opportunity, but life was weighing heavily on the young man's mind as he opened up about years of struggling with depression. Chase says support from others helped get him through.
“Honestly, just the positivity and the large amounts of support really just helps counteract the negative for me, anything positive always helps my state of mind and my mood,” Chase said.
From the Big 10 to the Big Sky, Chase hit the NCAA transfer portal and quickly received a call from Bruce Barnum at Portland State, where he can reconnect with fellow Titan alum JoJo Siofele.
“I can’t wait to see Jo play because I know what he is capable of and I know what I am capable o,f and that is part of the reason why I came to the school, so that’s two and part of everyone else on the team it’s going to be a great squad," Chase said.
Big Ten to Big Sky: Fresh take on life in the Park Blocks with @WeRUnion alum @chasedariem thanks to @CoachBarnum69 @psuviksFB #GoViks The homecoming tonight at 10:00 @fox12oregon @UHSTitanSports pic.twitter.com/lhubIgZwvm— Nick Krupke (@NickKrupke) October 16, 2020
Among other things, Chase said he is thankful to eat his mom's cooking again.
"It’s been great!" Chase said. "Even moving to Portland feels like a whole different world out here. It’s great. I do laundry there, I get food, I visit the dogs, I love it.”
Barny Ball with the Vikings hopes to receive the go ahead for team training soon, with PSU and the Big Sky Conference are still targeting a spring season. Sacramento State has opted out of playing.
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