Will Clapp is a name that is well-known among football fans, but many may not know about his journey through college that led him to the NFL. In this article, we will dive into the college career of Will Clapp and how it shaped him as a player and prepared him for the next level. From his high school days to his time at Louisiana State University (LSU), we will explore all aspects of Will Clapp’s college experience and how it helped him become the successful NFL player he is today.
High School Years: The Foundation of Will Clapp’s Football Career
Early Days on the Field
Will Clapp was born on March 22, 1995 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Growing up in a football-loving family, it was no surprise that he started playing the sport at a young age. By the time he reached high school, Clapp had already shown great potential as a football player and was determined to take his skills to the next level.
At Brother Martin High School in New Orleans, Clapp played both offensive and defensive line positions and quickly became a standout player. He earned various accolades, including First Team All-State, All-District, and All-Metro honors, and helped lead his team to three consecutive district championships. Clapp’s success on the field caught the attention of college scouts and he received multiple scholarship offers from top programs across the country.
Why Will Clapp Chose LSU
With so many college options, it was ultimately the familiarity of LSU that drew Will Clapp to choose them as his home for the next four years. Growing up in Louisiana, Clapp was surrounded by LSU fans and had attended numerous games with his family. He also had multiple family members who were LSU alumni, including his father, who played for the team in the 1980s.
But it wasn’t just the family connection and fan base that attracted Clapp to LSU. The university’s strong football program, top-notch facilities, and winning tradition were all factors that played into his decision. And based on his high school success, it was clear that Clapp would have a good chance to make an impact on the field for the Tigers.
College Career: The Rise of Will Clapp at LSU
Freshman Year: Adjusting to the College Level
Will Clapp’s transition from high school to college was relatively smooth. He redshirted his freshman year, meaning he did not play in any games but still practiced with the team and maintained his eligibility. This allowed him to get acclimated to the speed and physicality of the college game without the pressure of playing in actual games.
During his redshirt year, Clapp also worked on improving his strength and technique under the guidance of LSU’s coaching staff. His hard work paid off when he earned the starting center position in his sophomore year.
Sophomore and Junior Years: Establishing Himself as a Key Player
In his first two seasons as a starter, Will Clapp became a force on the offensive line for LSU. He started all 13 games in both his sophomore and junior years, earning First Team All-SEC honors in both seasons. Clapp’s size, strength, and versatility made him a valuable asset to the Tigers’ offensive line, and he helped lead the team to back-to-back bowl game appearances.
Clapp also received recognition for his academic achievements, being named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and CoSIDA Academic All-District team during his junior year. This demonstrated his dedication not only to football, but also to his studies.
Senior Year: A Memorable Season for Will Clapp
As a senior, Will Clapp’s hard work and leadership paid off in a big way. He was named team captain and continued to excel on the field, earning First Team All-SEC and Second Team All-American honors. Clapp also helped lead LSU to a win in the Citrus Bowl, finishing his college career on a high note.
But perhaps the most memorable moment of Clapp’s senior year came when he received the William V. Campbell Trophy, also known as the “Academic Heisman.” This prestigious award is given to the top football scholar-athlete in the country and reflects Clapp’s dedication both on and off the field.
How to Use Will Clapp College to Achieve Success
Will Clapp’s journey through college serves as an inspiration to aspiring football players. Here are some key takeaways from his experience that can be applied to achieve success:
- Work hard both on and off the field: Clapp’s success in college was not just due to his physical abilities, but also his dedication to academics and his determination to improve his skills.
- Stay true to your roots: Will Clapp’s decision to attend LSU was largely influenced by his family ties and love for his home state. It’s important to stay grounded and remember where you come from.
- Be a leader: Clapp’s coaches and teammates praised him for his leadership qualities, which were crucial in his senior year as he guided the team to success.
Examples of Will Clapp College Success Stories
Will Clapp is just one example of the many success stories that have come out of college football. Here are some other notable players who had successful college careers and went on to play in the NFL:
- Joe Burrow (LSU): Like Clapp, Burrow played at LSU and led the team to a national championship in 2019. He was selected first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech): Mahomes had a standout career at Texas Tech, setting multiple records and winning numerous awards. He was selected tenth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs and has since become one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
- J.J. Watt (Wisconsin): Watt played college football at Wisconsin and earned First Team All-American honors before being drafted 11th overall by the Houston Texans in 2011. He is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and has established himself as one of the best defensive players in the league.
Comparing Will Clapp to Other College Football Players
Will Clapp’s success in college can be compared to other top players who have gone on to have successful careers in the NFL. Here are some notable comparisons:
- Joe Burrow vs. Tua Tagovailoa: Both Burrow and Tagovailoa were Heisman Trophy finalists in 2019 and had impressive college careers. Burrow went on to be selected first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, while Tagovailoa was taken fifth overall in the same draft.
- Will Clapp vs. Alex Mack: Both Clapp and Mack played center in college and had similar sizes and physical abilities. Mack was drafted 21st overall in the 2009 NFL Draft and has since been selected to six Pro Bowls.
- Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson: Mahomes and Jackson were both dynamic quarterbacks in college and won the Heisman Trophy in back-to-back years (2018 and 2019). They were also drafted in the same year (2017) and have both established themselves as top players in the NFL.
Tips and Advice for Aspiring College Football Players
For those looking to follow in Will Clapp’s footsteps and pursue a career in college football, here are some tips and advice:
- Start early: Clapp started playing football at a young age and his dedication and hard work paid off in high school. The earlier you start, the more time you have to develop your skills.
- Be open to opportunities: Clapp received multiple offers from top college programs and ultimately chose the best fit for him. Don’t limit yourself and be open to exploring different options.
- Stay focused and committed: College football requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Stay focused on your goals and commit to putting in the necessary effort both on and off the field.
Frequently Asked Questions about Will Clapp College
What position did Will Clapp play in college?
Will Clapp played center for Louisiana State University (LSU).
What awards did Will Clapp receive in college?
Will Clapp received numerous accolades during his college career, including First Team All-SEC, All-American, and Academic Honor Roll honors. He also won the William V. Campbell Trophy, also known as the “Academic Heisman.”
Did Will Clapp play any other sports in college?
No, Will Clapp only played football in college.
What was Will Clapp’s most memorable moment in college?
Will Clapp’s most memorable moment in college was when he received the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the top football scholar-athlete in the country.
Which NFL team did Will Clapp sign with after college?
Will Clapp signed with the New Orleans Saints after being selected in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
In Conclusion: Will Clapp’s Journey to Success
Through hard work, determination, and leadership, Will Clapp has proven to be a standout player both on and off the field. His college career at LSU prepared him for the challenges of the NFL and serves as an inspiration to aspiring football players. As we continue to see more success stories like Will Clapp’s, it’s clear that college football is a crucial stepping stone for players to achieve their dreams of playing in the NFL.
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