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August 12, 2009When the subject of offensive weapons comes up in the OU offense, Sam Bradford, Jermaine Gresham and Demarco Murray are always at the top of the list. But there are also two players who help open things up for the speedsters and superstars - Matt Clapp and Brody Eldridge.
Clapp enters his final season at Oklahoma as OU's starting fullback. The All Big 12 selection a year ago is ready to take on defenders once again, even though there may be some uncertainty with Brody Eldridge making a temporary move to center.
Q: Talk about the experience with you big guys coming back and how that benefits the offensive this year?
Matt Clapp: Yeah, there's a lot of guys who are here who have some sort of playing experience. There's Jermaine, me, Messic, Ratterree has played a lot and also James Hanna. To have a group of guys like that in a room really excels our group and is really the strong point of our offense which allows us to do a lot of things in the offense and be flexible enough to do multiple positions on the offense.
Q: Coach Wilson talked about that experience and maturity wearing off on other guys, have you seen that?
Clapp: It really does wear off on other guys. Its really contagious to see a guy do well. Especially in the film room, you'll see this guy dry-block another guy totally off the field and the other guys will see it and elevate their play even more.
Q: People keep questioning the offensive line pointing to the inexperience, don't you feel like a part of this line with as much blocking as you're asked to do?
Clapp: Oh sure. Being a tight end, full back guy, we are part of the line and part of protecting our quarterback, helping out in route running and blocking out. So yea, I feel like we're part of the offensive line also.
Q: Who are some of the second teamers that could stop up if called upon?
Clapp: You know there are a lot of guys on our offensive line I think that can fill in all positions. First of all I think a lot of guys on the line whether it be first or second team could play any position you ask them to. As far as our second team guys, I don't want to name names but I think all of them are capable of stepping in and filling in if need be.
Q: What do you think about Brody taking snaps at center?
Clapp: I saw him today taking some snaps. He's doing really well. Brody's a beast man. Going from tight end, blocking everybody then going to center, he's doing really well for our offense.
Q: Last year coach named him the team MVP because of his hustle and mental toughness, that must really stick out in making such a huge transition?
Clapp: Oh yeah. Watching Brody play, especially a guy like that who blocks really well, can elevate everybody else's play on offense cause he's such a competitor and a great blocker.
Q: You hang around the running backs in practice. What is it like for a competitor in Demarco Murray to be so special, yet constantly hampered by the injury bug?
Clapp: It must be hard, I've been there before, being injured a couple of years ago and you just have to get over that adversity, that hump. But you know when he comes back he'll be a hell of a player and he's a great player in our offense. I'm sure he's just dying to get back out there on the field. That's one of the worst things in football is to be injured and watch all your teammates day in and day out.
Q: Talk about the depth at your position, you guys have a lot of capable bodies that can play so many different spots on the line and in the backfield?
Clapp: Being a tight end/full back/running back, I'm learning multiple positions on the offense which really helps our offense out by being able to mess with the defense going from the big set to the wide set to a spread set. So it's really helpful.