Ja'Marr Chase doesn't let the attention get to him.

He's unfazed by the five stars now listed by his name on some recruiting websites. 

The attention that comes with being one of the state's most sought-after players, No. 1 according to 247 Sports, doesn't seem to affect him one bit. 

He's equally unbothered when his schoolmates at Archbishop Rummel walk by and stare in admiration like they did during a recent photo shoot.

"I see ya, Ja'Marr," one said.

"You can smile bigger than that, Ja'Marr," another said.

Chase responds by cracking a wider smile, but that's about it.

He handles being the big man on Rummel's campus in stride, much like he plans to handle being the big man on the next campus he'll step onto as one of the top recruits in the country.

"You always want to be humble," Chase said. "I never had a big head growing up. I don't like being the center of attention, and I just try to stay away from it. But the attention finds me because people say I'm good."

Yes, they do.

Chase is rated a five-star recruit, which is why college coaches from all over have made their way to his school in Metairie and his home on the Westbank in Harvey.

Barton Simmons, national director of scouting for 247Sports, compares Chase to former LSU and current Miami Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry. 

"Because of his physicality," Simmons said. "He has that great build and is stron,g and he has that elite athleticism."

Chase will make his college decision Feb. 7, national signing day, when he reveals just what type of Tiger he wants to be.

His final two choices are LSU and Auburn. He is the state's top recruit who has yet to make a decision. 

The announcement will cap off what has been a whirlwind of a recruiting ride in the chase for Chase.

"It's had so many twists and turns," said Jimmy Chase, Ja'Marr's dad.

Chase originally was planning to go to Ole Miss.

That's where his heart was until the NCAA began investigating the Rebels, a process that eventually led to the resignation of Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and sanctions against the program.

Then in July, Chase was all set to make a verbal commitment on national television at the Nike Opening Finals, a showcase in Oregon featuring many of the top high school players in the country. He was originally supposed to announce his commitment on a Sunday, a special day for him because it was his grandmother's birthday.

"I was going to commit to TCU," Chase says. "I had the purple and everything. That's her favorite color."

But the NFL Network changed his announcement time from Sunday to Monday.

Chase's announcement was bumped again the next day, this time because the network's hour-long broadcast ran out of time.

"They killed the whole mood," Jimmy Chase said at the time. "Once he gets home, we'll figure it all out."

Ja'Marr Chase was disappointed, but just took the moment as a learning experience.

"I learned a lot from that," Chase said. "I looked at that as something that needed to happen for me. I don't really know the word for it, but it was almost like a spiritual moment for me."

But the chase for Chase was back on.

A few weeks later, he committed to Florida.

He stuck with that commitment until early November, but de-committed two weeks after Florida and coach Jim McElwain parted ways.

It was back to square one for Chase.

"The hardest part was the Florida de-commitment, because I thought I was finished and I thought that was my last choice," Chase said. "My dad talked to me about how I should handle the situation, and I ended up de-committing and just waited."

He took official visits to LSU, TCU, and Michigan and has one final visit scheduled for Auburn on Feb. 3, the final weekend of visits before signing day.

He'll announce his decision a few days after that at the school where he has rewritten the record books.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Chase owns school records for career yards receiving (2,152), single-season yards receiving (1,011), receptions in a season (61) and yards receiving in a game (226 vs. University High as a junior.

Not bad for a school known mostly for running the ball.

"You have to change with your talent," said Rummel coach Jay Roth. "That's what it dictated. We knew Ja'Marr was going to be special his sophomore year."

Chase's first high school touchdown came on a nationally televised game on ESPN against Wayne County in Mississippi. It's one of his fondest memories, the first of his 30 career touchdown receptions, also a Rummel record. A knee injury ended his senior season. He didn't need surgery, but the injury required therapy. He's completed that and began running routes again this past week. He plans to compete in track again, where he looked to defend the Class 5A long jump state championship he claimed as a junior with a leap of 24 feet, 2½ inches.

"He's one of the most fierce competitors I've ever met," Rummel quarterback Chandler Fields said. "He has that 'it' factor. He's a difference-maker, and he always wants to be the best."

Roth said it's that quiet, humble approach that makes Chase even more special.

"It would be easy for a guy like him to be cocky, but he's not," Roth said. "You never hear him telling the quarterback to give him the ball. Some people think because they are talented, they don't have to follow the rules. Ja' Marr isn't that guy. He was always prepared for practice and just did everything right and never took it for granted that he was a star."

But Chase has always been a star, starting with his early playing days at Oakdale Playground in Gretna. He played football, baseball and basketball, excelling in all three.

Sports run in his family.

His father played defensive back on St. Augustine's last state championship team in 1979 before going on to play at Alcorn State.

His father has helped him with the recruiting process.

He also gets advice from childhood friend Kristian Fulton, the former Rummel and current LSU cornerback.

Fulton, who like Chase was an Under Armour All-American, gives some simple advice: "Follow your heart."

And that's exactly what Chase plans to do.

He's handled the recruiting journey just fine so far.

Now, he's almost at the finish line.

"It ain't that bad," Chase said about the recruiting process. "I'm getting through it now. I had all those offers, and I've narrowed it all down. I'm ready to get everything over with now."


Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.