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Chase Rice Expands HDEU Clothing Line with Workout Attire

photos by Jason Myers/EB Media

Little did Chase Rice know that the end of his college football career would kick-start his success in country music—not to mention his HDEU (Head Down, Eyes Up) clothing line.

When Chase tore a tendon in his ankle during the first football game of his junior year at the University of North Carolina, he was determined to get back on the field before his senior season. To rehab his ankle, Chase spent hours in the gym each day.

It was in the midst of a grueling workout that Chase caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and had a revelation. “I just looked pissed off,” Chase recalls. “But I was determined. My head was down, but my eyes were up, and I kind of kept saying that to myself . . . head down, eyes up, keep going. That was my mentality, like a lion before it attacks.”

Chase did, in fact, get back on the football field the following year. Throughout that season, Chase kept his new slogan in the forefront of his mind. He even adopted the mantra when he moved to Nashville and began pursuing a music career. 

“I knew I needed to go make fans myself, make music myself, pay for it myself and eventually it was going to pay off,” Chase explains. “Here we are coming off a summer tour with Kenny Chesney last year and a long fall of touring my own sold-out headlining tour—if I haven’t proven the naysayers wrong, I’m at least heading in the right direction, and that’s because of that head-down, eyes-up, keep-going mentality.”

After fans saw “HDEU” handwritten on Chase’s baseball hats, they began to inquire about the meaning behind it. That sparked another idea from Chase, and he tested the waters by creating 100 HDEU hats to sell at his shows. He sold out the very first night.

“I was like, ‘What the heck?’” says Chase with a laugh. “Fast forward to now—we have it on shirts and it’s all over the country.”

This spring, the line has expanded to gym-friendly attire, including hoodies, beanies and an array of T-shirts and tanks, as well as training pants for women. “I wanted to make some stuff that I can wear to work out in,” Chase says. “For me personally, if I’m working out or playing sports with HDEU on my chest or anywhere on my body, it’s going to remind me of that mentality.

“If you keep that mentality, you block all the good and the bad out and just focus on your task. Literally, the only person who can stop you is you.”

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