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Former Union star Darien Chase to transfer from Nebraska

Receiver opens up about mental health struggles

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: February 14, 2020, 5:00pm
2 Photos
Union High School receiver and cornerback Darien Chase (Nathan Howard/The Columbian)
Union High School receiver and cornerback Darien Chase (Nathan Howard/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Darien Chase, a star receiver who led Union to the Class 4A state title in 2018, announced Friday he will transfer from the University of Nebraska.

In a social media post, Chase opened up about mental health struggles that led to his decision.

“I have lost a lot of family members and I have struggled with mental health and depression for the past 6 or 7 years,” Chase wrote on Twitter. “These events put me in a place I can never fall to again, and it is the best decision for me and my family for me to transfer closer to home.”

Chase wrote that he will enter the collegiate transfer portal.

Chase did not say which schools he was considering, though he would have to sit out the 2020 football season if he transfers to another NCAA Division-I (FBS or FCS) program. Prior to signing with Nebraska, Chase received offers from Oregon, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State.

Chase played in four games for Nebraska as a true freshman last season before using his redshirt year. He caught one pass, a 13 yard reception in his collegiate debut against Northern Illinois on Sept. 14.

“This decision has been the hardest I’ve ever had to make and it has nothing to do with football,” Chase wrote. “There is truly no place like Nebraska.”

At Union, Chase became one of the state’s top prospects. He helped the Titans go 14-0 as a senior, catching 65 passes for 1,004 yards and 14 receiving touchdowns.

Chase was a first-team Associated Press all-state selection both his junior and senior years. He was also a three-time Columbian All-Region first-team selection.