July 31, 2004
Paradise Valley fullback Matt Clapp became the first East Valley athlete to accept a football scholarship this summer when he gave a nonbinding verbal commitment to Oklahoma on Friday afternoon. Clapp will play H-back, a fullback-tight end hybrid, for the Sooners.
The multitalented all-Tribune performer rushed for 1,602 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. He had camped at ASU, Arizona and Ohio State this summer, but decided Oklahoma was the best fit for him.
Clapp is the only H-back to be offered a scholarship by Oklahoma thus far.
"I think I fit in perfectly," Clapp said. "They’ve been saying I’m their main guy and that I’d be perfect in their offense. Their (numbers are) low at that position, so I have a chance to play early as a freshman."
Clapp is one of several East Valley seniors who are expected to sign with major conference football programs in February.
Chaparral defensive tackle Ekom Udofia is the gem of the class. He has 22 offers and has narrowed his list to Louisiana State, Miami, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Stanford and USC.
Other top East Valley prospects include Hamilton quarterback Travis Dixon, Highland tight end Shaun Fitzpatrick, Marcos de Niza running back Terrance Hooks, Gilbert fullback Bobby Ili, Red Mountain running back Channing Trotter, Highland lineman Richard Tuitu’u and Hamilton receiver Mekell Wesley.