As the NFL season kicks off, fans around the world are eagerly anticipating the performance of their favorite teams and players. Among those players is Will Clapp, a talented and hardworking offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints. But behind his on-field success lies a less known but equally impressive journey of dedication and determination. In this article, we will dive into the career of Will Clapp and uncover the key lessons and insights that can inspire and guide aspiring athletes and professionals alike.
Early Years and College Football
Growing Up in New Orleans
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Will Clapp was exposed to football at an early age. He grew up watching his father, Tommy Clapp, play football for the University of Alabama and later for the Birmingham Fire of the World League of American Football. His mother, Linda Clapp, was also an athlete, playing basketball and volleyball in high school.
High School Career
Following in his parents’ footsteps, Clapp started playing football in high school. He attended Brother Martin High School in New Orleans, where he quickly made a name for himself as a dominant offensive lineman. He earned all-district honors and helped lead his team to back-to-back state championships in 2010 and 2011.
College Football at LSU
After a successful high school career, Clapp received a scholarship to play football at Louisiana State University (LSU). He joined the Tigers in 2014 and redshirted his first year, meaning he did not participate in any games but still had four years of eligibility left.
During his time at LSU, Clapp became an integral part of the team’s offensive line. He played in 49 games, starting in 36 of them, and was named All-SEC second team in 2017 and first team in 2018. He was also a part of the 2017 LSU team that set a school record for most rushing yards in a season.
Entering the NFL
Draft and Rookie Season
After an impressive college career, Clapp declared for the 2018 NFL Draft. He was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the seventh round, making him the 245th overall pick. In his rookie season, he played in nine games, primarily on special teams, and was part of the Saints’ playoff run to the NFC Championship game.
Earning a Spot on the Roster
In 2019, Clapp faced stiff competition for a spot on the roster during training camp. However, his dedication and hard work paid off as he made the final cut and secured a spot on the team’s active roster. He went on to play in eight games, including three starts, and helped the Saints clinch their third consecutive division title.
Versatility and Adaptability
One of Clapp’s greatest strengths as a player is his versatility. He has the ability to play multiple positions on the offensive line, making him a valuable asset to the team. Injuries are common in the fast-paced and physical game of football, and having players like Clapp who can fill in at different positions is crucial for a team’s success.
How to Use Will Clapp Career
Will Clapp’s career serves as an inspiration and guide for those looking to succeed in any field, not just football. Here are some key takeaways from his journey that you can apply to your own career:
- Hard work pays off: Clapp’s success is a result of his unwavering dedication and commitment to his craft. He consistently put in the extra work, whether it was in the weight room or studying film, to improve his skills and become a better player.
- Perseverance is key: Clapp faced challenges and setbacks throughout his career, but he never let them deter him from achieving his goals. He continued to work hard and prove himself, even when he was overlooked or doubted by others.
- Embrace versatility: In today’s fast-paced and dynamic work environment, being versatile and adaptable is crucial. Like Clapp, try to develop skills and knowledge in different areas to make yourself a valuable asset to any team or organization.
Examples of Will Clapp Career
Will Clapp’s career is filled with countless examples of hard work, perseverance, and success. Here are just a few moments that showcase his dedication and talent:
- In 2017, Clapp helped lead LSU to an upset victory over Auburn by playing through a shoulder injury that would require offseason surgery.
- During his rookie season with the Saints, Clapp made a key block on a fake punt play that helped the team secure a win against the Philadelphia Eagles.
- In 2019, Clapp filled in at left guard for an injured teammate and played a crucial role in helping the Saints defeat the Seattle Seahawks.
Comparisons with Other Players
Will Clapp’s journey may share similarities with other successful athletes, but it also has its own unique story. Here are some comparisons that highlight what sets Clapp apart:
- Like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Clapp had to overcome being a late-round draft pick to earn a spot on an NFL roster and eventually contribute to his team’s success.
- Similar to former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, Clapp comes from a family with a strong football background and has used that influence to his advantage in his own career.
- Like former Green Bay Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang, Clapp has shown his versatility by playing multiple positions along the offensive line, making him a valuable asset to his team.
Advice for Aspiring Athletes
As someone who has navigated the challenging and competitive world of professional football, Will Clapp has some advice for aspiring athletes:
- Stay disciplined: Success in any field requires discipline and dedication. Be willing to put in the work and make sacrifices to achieve your goals.
- Don’t give up on yourself: There will be times when you doubt yourself or face setbacks, but don’t let them discourage you. Keep pushing forward and trust in your abilities.
- Stay focused on the present: It’s easy to get caught up in looking ahead to the future, but it’s important to stay focused on the present moment and make the most of the opportunities in front of you.
Q: How did Will Clapp get into football?
A: Will Clapp grew up in a football family and was exposed to the sport at an early age. He followed in his parents’ footsteps and started playing in high school.
Q: How many games has Will Clapp played in the NFL?
A: As of the start of the 2021 season, Will Clapp has played in 17 regular-season games and one playoff game with the New Orleans Saints.
Q: Does Will Clapp have any siblings?
A: Yes, Will Clapp has a younger sister, Lauren, who is a competitive dancer.
Q: Has Will Clapp won any awards in his career?
A: In college, Will Clapp was named All-SEC second team in 2017 and first team in 2018. He also won two state championships in high school and has been a part of three division-winning teams with the Saints.
Q: What position does Will Clapp play?
A: Will Clapp primarily plays as an offensive guard, but he also has experience playing center and tackle.
Will Clapp’s career is a testament to the power of hard work, perseverance, and adaptability. From his humble beginnings in New Orleans to his success in the NFL, he has proven that with determination and dedication, anything is possible. Whether you are an aspiring athlete or professional in any field, there are valuable lessons to be learned from Will Clapp’s journey. So go out, chase your dreams, and make them a reality, just like Will Clapp did.
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