Dave Monnot II (79) holds up his helmet following UTC's win over North Alabama at the Homecoming Football game. Saturday, September 17, 2022.

Cool, calm and collected is the way Chase Artopoeus strolled into the cavernous offices of McKenzie Arena on a sunny Wednesday morning. You can tell right away that this guy is a quarterback. He has that unwavering confidence that coaches look for, without coming off as arrogant. 

Mocs fans, this is your guy. 

Artopoeus graduated from Saint Joseph High School in Santa Maria, California. His senior season, he threw for 2,610 yards with 26 touchdowns and only one interception.

This caught the attention of one of the most potent offensive minds in college football— UCLA’s head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly has an impressive resume, coaching the up-tempo Oregon Ducks (2009-2012), before moving on to be the head man of two NFL franchises.  

Artopoeus signed with the Bruins in 2019, choosing to play for a head coach that many young quarterbacks could only dream of playing for. 

During his time at UCLA, Artopoeus was the backup to five-year starter Dorian Thompson- Robinson. Thompson-Robinson is second in career passing yards and first in career passing touchdowns at UCLA, both of which beat NFL hall of famer Troy Aikman for most all time. 

However, Artopoeus graduated from one of the most prestigious public universities in the country while simultaneously gaining valuable experience from a stellar coaching staff. 

A grad-transfer with one more year of eligibility, Artopoeus hit the transfer portal after his senior season. “Coach Kelley pulled me aside and said, ‘What’s next?’ I said I want to play somewhere,” answered Artopoeus when asked why he chose UTC. He explained, “I put together a list of schools, looking at offensive passing efficiency, their record last year and returning players…” He also went on to note that the Mocs are consistently competitive in their conference. Artopoeus used analytical decision-making to find a place where he could succeed. 

That is big quarterback energy. 

Artopoeus arrived in the Scenic City in early January, which probably felt like a different world than that of sunny, Southern California. “I had heard about Chattanooga, but had no knowledge of where it was, really. I have always been on the west coast, so it was kind of new and a bit of a culture shock,” he said. The cultural and geographical differences didn’t seem to bother him at all, as this guy will undoubtedly fit in around here. 

Experience is key for college quarterbacks. Artopoeus comes to UTC with more of it than anybody else in the quarterback room.

“Everybody is just learning from each other. It’s a very reciprocal relationship. We are all just trying to be the best that we can be, raising each other up and not putting each other down,” he said with the poise of a leader. A five-minute conversation with him proved that he is one of the most humble yet confident guys you will meet. 

There isn’t an egotistical bone in his body. 

Followers of Mocs football have good reason to be excited about the team this fall. Last year’s leaders in rushing and receiving yards will return. There is plenty of experience returning on the offensive line as well as two transfers who started at their previous schools. Artopoeus will have been with the team for about eight months and will only continue to improve by the time the season kicks off. 

For most people, Los Angeles is where they would go to chase their dreams. They would leave their small hometown to try their luck in Hollywood. 

For Artopoeus, it is quite the opposite. 

2,147 miles away from his alma mater, Artopoeus came to UTC to fulfill his dream of being a starting college quarterback. Mocs fans near and far should be stoked about this. It’s good for the football program to have a guy like Artopoeus here, and any school in the country would have been lucky to have him. Get behind this guy and support him, for he is your new quarterback. 

He chose to be here. He earned it. He deserves it. 

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