Matt Fountaine a 5-11, 180-pound athlete who plays for Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, California. O'Dowd is in the second round of the playoffs, beating Irvington High School last week and taking on Amador Valley this coming weekend."> Matt Fountaine a 5-11, 180-pound athlete who plays for Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, California. O'Dowd is in the second round of the playoffs, beating Irvington High School last week and taking on Amador Valley this coming weekend.">

Husky verbal commit looking for a ring

"I'm looking forward to winning that ring in a couple of weeks," were the first words to come out of the mouth of <b>Matt Fountaine</b> a 5-11, 180-pound athlete who plays for Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland, California. O'Dowd is in the second round of the playoffs, beating Irvington High School last week and taking on Amador Valley this coming weekend.

"It's been pretty good," Matt said of his season, a season that has seen Bishop O'Dowd go 9-2 this year. He's racked up 1630 yards and 26 touchdowns as a running back, and from the other side has come up with 8 picks. Not a bad set of stats. "One pick I took down the sidelines for a touchdown and another we were winning 28-21 and I picked one off in the endzone," Fountaine said, picking out the ones that will assuredly go on the highlight reel.

What is the one thing that has made Matt into the player he is? "Just confidence in myself," he said, matter-of-factly. "Last year I was a starter on both sides of the ball and I was probably a little shaky at the beginning, whereas this year I came out with an agenda and set on accomplishing my goals. The only goal I have left is to win the championship."

While he's dead-set on his own championship, he's also been watching the Huskies work towards a championship of their own. "I'm glad they won," he said of Washington's Apple Cup victory over cross-state rivals Washington State. "VERY glad. To me, the Apple Cup and the Stanford game are the two standout games to me as a Husky fan."

Matt talks to his older brother, former Husky Jamal Fountaine all the time. "I talk to him every week," he said. "He's thrilled. He's talking about all the dates I'm going to come up. He wants me to come up and train with him as soon as school gets out." And their parents? "We haven't really talked about it too much. I guess they'll talk about it with me later. Right now we're just taking it day by day."

Fountaine can't help but throw a barb or two at his buddy D'Marco Farr, one of Jamal's best friends. "Yeah, I see him on his little sports show," he joked. "He looks so goofy, man. Talking, acting like he knows what he's talking about. He acts like he knows something. Stating his opinion like it's worth anything. But no, he's like my third brother. When he heard I was going to Washington he called me. We weren't home but he left a message on the answering machine. He said that I needed to know that no matter what I do in life that I'll never be bigger than him and I'll never be above him and that he'll still beat me up whenever he wants to, so I better get him tickets to all the games." (laughs)

Despite his early verbal commitment, Matt still talks to the Washington coaches on a daily basis. "I talk to Coach Hundley and Coach Neuheisel every week," he said. They talk to me about how I did and about girlfriends and my personal life. Stuff like that. They talked to me about speed, what to do during the next track season. They already know that I'm fast, but you can never be too fast. I'll be get help from them diet-wise and weight training-wise after I sign with them in February. It makes me feel good that the coaches are still calling. It makes it feel like family."

And other schools? "Every now and then I'll get calls from coaches that just haven't heard, but it's been a couple of months now so they've all stopped calling."

Matt isn't the only talented football player in the Bay Area. In fact, he knows a couple in particular that like the Dawgs. "Jarrad Page," he said without hesitation. "I played pee-wee football with him and all the players on the San Leandro Pirates team, even some of the players from De La Salle. He's a great football player. He's more athletic than his size would tell you. He's a big dude but he can move, he can move really well."

The other player he mentions by name is Saint Mary's running back Trestin George. "Trestin, that's my boy," said Matt. "He's a big dude. He's a hard hitting cat right there. We ran track and played against each other this year."

We'd like to see a run-off between Matt and Trestin. Matt knows who the winner would be. "Who's faster? Me, of course! My goal is a 10.4 electronic time this spring."

Before he hangs up the phone, Matt had one more thing to say. "You can tell all the ladies in Washington that I'm single and like long walks on the beach," he said. "And I'll be up there next fall."

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