Just like he has for the last three years, Seth Clabaugh will come to Greyhound Stadium as a Ram for the distant future — but in a different uniform.
The Portales High senior quarterback signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play football with the Angelo State University Rams.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Clabaugh has started for the Rams late in his sophomore year and helped lead the Rams to the Class 3A state title game in 2002.
He is the PHS player who signed on Wednesday, the first day prospects can sign letters of intent for fall sports.
“I thought it was a situation that kind of fit me,” Clabaugh said. “The coaches were guys I’d really like to play for.”
He could easily say the same about Eastern New Mexico University, which seemed a more likely choice. His father Phil is the head baseball coach and he’s known the Greyhound football staff for years.
In the end, though, it was a difference in the offensive styles that pushed Clabaugh to sign with the Lone Star Conference South Division rival.
“The system there fits me,” Clabaugh said. “Eastern runs the ball a lot; I don’t run the ball very well. They run one-back, Eastern runs a wishbone.”
Still, it didn’t make the decision any easier.
“It really was (tough), knowing them like they know me,” Clabaugh said. “Coach (Bud) Elliott’s a great man, a great coach. Coach (Mike) Howard’s a great man, a great coach. Same with Coach (Mark) Ribaudo.
“They’re just good people. It was a tough decision, but I believe I made the right one.”
Clabaugh envisions redshirting the 2004 season.
“Seth’s a great kid, a great individual,” Portales coach Glen Johnson said. “He has worked very hard. It’s been a total joy to have him in the program. I anticipate Seth being a very successful college football player.”
Clabaugh came close to being the first Portales player to ever amass 1,000 yards both in the air and on the ground in a season. Clabaugh completed 63.1 percent of his passes (173-of-247) for 1,030 yards and eight touchdowns, while rushing for 904 yards and 12 scores.
“Seth has really learned a lot with the quarterback position as far as directing the offense,” Johnson said. “As far as his physical ability, he showed that on the field with his ability to run and throw.”
Clabaugh is currently the starting center for the Ram basketball team and will be in the pitching rotation for the Ram baseball team later this semester. While he had considered playing college baseball, football took precedence.
“It crossed my mind, but I figured you need to do just one,” said Clabaugh, who didn’t completely rule out an attempt to play two sports. “I was getting more looks for football than for baseball.”
Angelo State finished 3-8 last season.