Chase Roberts: Giving God the Glory

“No way he caught that. No way he caught that!” 

This, and similar sentiments, went through the minds of many BYU football fans, after they watched Chase Roberts’ one-handed catch in the endzone in a game last month against Arkansas. 

He not only caught a game-winning touchdown but was No. 1 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays that night. 

Despite Roberts’ success on the field, there is more to him than just a talented player who can catch a football. He is first and foremost, a disciple of the Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Roberts committed to BYU as a sophomore in high school back in 2017. “Ever since I was little, I always thought that if I got an offer to BYU I am going to commit there and go play,” he said.

However, Roberts stunned the nation with his performance at American Fork High School and was ranked No. 9 nationally and No. 2 in Utah with 1,771 receiving yards his senior year.

Roberts said that later in high school the Power 5 schools started making offers and he thought, “Okay that is kind of cool.” As a three-star recruit, he received offers from USC, Stanford, and Utah—all schools that are currently in the Pac-12 conference. 

However, Roberts always felt like God needed him here at BYU. So, he chose to come to BYU before even learning about the institution joining the Big 12 Conference. 

“I love football so much, but for me, it is much more than football. I love [football] and playing in a conference but focusing on the other [important] things is what brings me joy and why I love it here at BYU,” Roberts said. 

Roberts is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His beliefs really help motivate him on the field.

“It doesn’t matter what I am doing as long as I am glorifying God in doing that. So, whenever I am on a field, I am thinking about that and if I make a great catch it is about glorifying God,” he said. 

Last season, Roberts had 22 receptions for 357 yards, but this year he had to step up into a larger leadership role. 

“[Chase] emerged as someone who has mastered the playbook. His teammates love him, he’s a great example of someone who just shows up every day and goes to work and you can tell he is locked in,” said wide receivers coach, Fesi Sitake. “I wish I had 100 of him.” 

According to Darius Lassiter, fellow teammate, and BYU wide receiver, he could tell day one that Roberts was going to play a big role in the team’s leadership. Lassiter said this was apparent when BYU signed Keelan Marion and himself as wide receivers.

“[Most] people would see that as competition, but he viewed it as an opportunity to get the team better,” Lassiter said. 

Coaches and teammates describe Roberts as morally upstanding, intentional, focused, humble, and corny.

“I like that he is corny but a good corny,” Lassiter said. “I like how high energy he is, whether things are going his way or not he is the one who is going around and trying to pump everyone up.”

Roberts’ impact on the team is unmatched. 

“We lost a lot of leadership last year, guys who have been here and who have played a lot of football,” Sitake said. “I really appreciate how he has matured, and a lot of times, that just comes with time and experience here. But Chase happens to be wired that way, always mature and disciplined.”

His coaches and teammates said they heavily rely on Roberts as a playmaker. 

“A lot of times when you are in the flow of the game you hear a common phrase of ‘Someone needs to make a play’ and Chase already this year and in the past has been a guy that steps up and makes a play and he provides a much-needed spark sometimes or he continues the momentum that we might already have,” Sitake said. 

One of those plays was the impossible catch versus Arkansas. Tied 31-31 with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Chase caught a 7-yard touchdown pass that stunned the nation. 

“It was one of those where I put both hands on my head and my jaw dropped. I looked around and realized a lot of others were the same. A couple seconds of shock. Like, wait hold on. Not only did he catch that but there was no bobble. That was one of those sparks that was so timely, much-needed momentum,” Sitake said. 

Even with all the accolades and praise from viewers, fans, and teammates, Roberts is still humble. 

“Chase doesn’t give that dawg demeanor, but he really is a dawg,” said Lassiter. “He is not gonna do all the screaming and shouting he will just put his head down and do the work. . . A lot of people give him so much praise, but he just tunes it out and keeps on working.”

Roberts explained that football has given him an opportunity to glorify God and show others the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action. 

“Football has put me on a platform where I can go out and be a bigger influence,” he said. “To be a missionary. That’s why I am grateful to be in the spotlight.”

Copyright: Travis Scott’s “Highest in the Room”, BYU Athletics, ESPN, Fox

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