Sophomore Jordan Clemente of Weber State University, a two-sport athlete from Tooele, Utah, is learning the challenges and benefits that come from playing multiple collegiate sports in a single year.
The 6-foot 4-inch, 225-pound competitor runs the 60-meter hurdles during the indoor track season, 110-meter hurdles during the outdoor track season and routes as a tight end during the football season. Clemente also participates in the long jump event.
Clemente came to WSU for a football scholarship, but when WSU’s new head football coach John L. Smith approved him to run track as well this season, Clemente jumped at the opprotunity.
Smith said that as long as Clemente balances both sports and continues to practice hard for both teams, he has no problem with him running track.
“He can run track if he is committed and willing to help the track team be successful,” Smith said.
Clemente said he is grateful that Coach Smith was so accommodating and supportive of his decision to run track this season. Clemente also said that playing two sports has helped him stay in shape and get stronger.
“It’s nice that Coach Smith was so encouraging,” Clemente said. “Track has helped my legs to become stronger and more explosive. I am getting faster, and my flexibility has improved dramatically as well, and when you combine all of that, I think it will be a huge benefit to my athletic career.”
Clemente said that with balancing two sports, he’s learned the importance of keeping an organized schedule, so he has time for everything.
“When indoor is over, it’s onto spring football and then back to track for the outdoor season, which will be followed up with training for the football season,” Clemente said. “I usually have to go to bed pretty early, so I can get up early enough to do my homework, lift weights with the football team and then be on time for track practice.”
Clemente said both sports have challenges, and each one has unique things to adjust to. He said football is generally harder, especially since he gets hit by the defenders, but conditioning for track is one of the hardest things any athlete can do.
It’s not just on the track and on the field that Clemente works hard. He has managed to keep a 3.84 GPA, majoring in health administration. Clemente plans to go into WSU’s graduate program after his football and track careers and eventually become a hospital administrator.
This spring will be as busy for Clemente. Spring football will start the second week of March, and outdoor track will begin soon after at the Aztec Invitational on Friday, March 16 in San Diego.
The annual Purple and White spring football game will be held on Saturday, April 14 at Stewart Stadium.