Bishop O'Dowd ATH becomes latest Washington Dawg

"Knowing them [the Fountaines], if Washington showed any interest at all in Matt, it was going to be an easy sell." Those words from Bishop O'Dowd Head Coach Paul Perenone nicely sum up the feeling regarding Washington's third public verbal commit, ATH Matthew Fountaine from Oakland, California.

If the 5'11, 175-pound Fountaine's name sounds familiar, it should. His brother Jamal played for the Huskies as well as another Bishop O'Dowd product and ex-Dawg, current Oakland Raider Eric Bjornson. Coach Perenone has been at Bishop O'Dowd for 25 years, including 17 as the Head Coach. His experiences with Washington recruiting Bjornson sold him on their product.

"Well, Eric went up there and went on to have a great career and is still playing football now in the NFL," Perenone said. "But most importantly, Eric had a great time up there. If you started lining up the stars, the celestial bodies, and started with Eric, and then Jamal and now Matt, it's turning into a great situation for us and for Washington."

Coach was reminded of another ex-Bishop player, former OSU Beaver Ricky Walker when talking of Fountaine's future. "Ricky ended up playing 4th or 5th DB for OSU by the time he finished up, and played quite well when in there, but regardless of what he did up there, I knew Ricky would have success, and that's the way I feel about Matt. Ricky worked his butt off for 5 years and got his degree. Matt may end up being a superstar and playing in the NFL, or he may just end up playing special teams, but really he's just scratched the surface of what is possible for him."

When talking about Matt's football abilities, Coach mentions one thing that immediately sticks out. "Well, first of all, he's got great speed. He's a 10.85 100 meters guy, which is something we haven't really had before. In fact, Matt's the first person at Bishop O'Dowd to ever win a sectional final in the 100 meters. Ever."

It was performances in the first two games this year that sealed the deal for Washington Head Coach Rick Neuheisel and Defensive Coordinator Tim Hundley. "I talked to both Coach Neuheisel and Coach Hundley last week," Perenone said. "They let me know what the score was regarding Matt and what they were looking for. Once they decided to offer a scholarship to Matt, all that was left was for Matt to get through this last game and then talk it over with his parents on Sunday. When I saw him at school Monday, we talked quickly, for about 45 seconds, and when I asked him if he had committed, he said he had."

Bishop O'Dowd played St. Francis in a rough opener, but came out on top largely due to Fountaine working hard and getting the tough yards when they needed them. "That was a tough game," said Perenone. "Matt ended up with 112 yards and two touchdowns, but all of those yards were well-earned." The second game was more of a breather for Bishop, as they cruised past Moreau Catholic 57-0. "Matt only played a quarter and a half," Coach said. "But he gained 142 yards and scored 5 times. He didn't need to play any more than that."

Coach Perenone wants Husky fans to know that not only will they be impressed with Fountaine as a player, but they'll be doubly impressed with him as a student and also as a good citizen and a credit to the University of Washington football program. "It's my job to help these 14 and 15- year olds and develop them," Perenone said. "Matt came up to the JV's as a 9th-grader and then played varsity as a 10th-grader. I think that he's made my job very easy. He's got a work ethic that's second to none, and he always wants to learn as much as possible all the time. I believe, that whether he ends up playing professionally or even if he just ends up playing a little bit, Matt will be a tremendous asset to the University of Washington. People will get to know Matt the football player, but they may be even more impressed with Matt the person before it's all said and done."

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