Chase Randall has his foot in the door.
Leading up to his senior season at CDO in 2020 — one curtailed by COVID-19 with the Dorados limited to four games to showcase their individual skills — Randall envisioned himself with the Arizona Wildcats.
He took a step forward to that goal Tuesday by accepting a preferred walk-on offer by Arizona assistant defensive backs coach Beyah Rasool, a former Rincon/University standout.
“This opportunity, I’m going to make the absolute most out of it, every single thing I do,” Randall said in the latest All Sports Tucson Talk Podcast. “I’m a player that goes 110 percent in everything I do. I’m going into it with a chip on my shoulder. I’m gonna go out there every single practice, no matter what I do, and give it everything, go the extra mile and make the most out of every opportunity that I get.
“That’s my mindset, going into this spring.”
Extremely Blessed and Humbled to announce I will be continuing my college football career at The University of Arizona. Thank you to the entire UA Staff for this opportunity! BEAR DOWN! 🐻 ⬇️ @CoachBeyRasool @CoachJeddFisch @CoachNansenUofA @CoachOmura @cdo_football pic.twitter.com/8rHH1rSDAn
— Chase Randall (@ChaseRandall20) January 17, 2023
As a preferred walk-on, Randall will be on Arizona’s roster but won’t receive financial assistance at least for his first year in the program. He can earn a scholarship going into his second season but nothing is guaranteed. While preferred walk-ons do not receive athletic scholarship funding, they do receive other amenities that scholarship players have — use of the training facility, athletic gear and meals, etc.
Randall, 6-foot-1 and 260 pounds, mentioned he will likely start football activities at Arizona as soon as this week. He is continuing his business management degree that he started on at Valparaiso after enrolling at the NCAA Division II school last January.
His journey to Arizona is more than two years in the making before he began his senior year at CDO in 2020-21.
CDO coach Dustin Peace made overtures to Arizona’s former staff under Kevin Sumlin to give Randall a good look but that never panned out.
Randall made it known to Arizona going into the 2020 season that he has long desired to be a Wildcat.
Peace, who has coached on defense the likes of safety Jared Tevis (a former Arizona walk-on who became a success) and longtime NFL linebacker Blake Martinez, was flabbergasted that Arizona at the time looked the other way and only small colleges were showing interest in Randall.
“I told a couple of the coaches that have contacted me that if they get Chase to commit, they are getting a heck of a bargain,” Peace said in a September 2020 interview with AllSportsTucson.com. “Chase is one of the best defensive linemen I’ve ever coached as far as his motor and his physicality.
“It’s kind of funny when we had Blake, I always called him my ‘Go Get ‘Em Guy.’ If we needed to be physical on a player — not targeting or anything illegal — I would say, ‘Hey Blake, run that dude over.’ It was a matter of this is what’s going to happen and Blake had to get it done. That’s exactly what Chase is — he’s a ‘Go Get ‘Em Guy.’ He’s just a physical, physical kid.”
Randall, who at first committed to University of Sioux Falls late in his senior year, played in seven games with Valparaiso last fall before entering the transfer portal.
He has four years of eligibility remaining at Arizona, where he will join former CDO teammate Stevie Rocker, a running back. They are both Class of 2021 graduates.
Their days on the football field together go back to when they played with the Marana Broncos of the Tucson Youth Football & Spirit Federation.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.