Clinton High School’s Mathew Sexton signs with Eastern Michigan University

By: 
MICKEY ALVARADO

Mathew Sexton (seated, center) signed a National Letter of Intent on Wednesday, Feb. 3, to attend Eastern Michigan University to play football for the Eagles. He was supported by his father and stepmother, Mike and Michelle Sexton (left) and mother and stepfather, Tammy and Tom Culler (right). Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Putting Clinton Mich., on the map has been a dream of Mathew Sexton ever since he was a kid growing up in the small village of approximately 2,336 people. Now that he’s officially signed to be a wide receiver for Eastern Michigan University (EMU) on the Eagles’ Division 1 football team, he feels he did his part. But he’s not done dreaming just yet and wants to leave an even bigger mark.
 
Sexton verbally committed for a full-ride scholarship with EMU months ago and was a man of his word, signing his National Letter of Intent the first day that he could, on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at Clinton High School with the support of family and friends.
 
“It’s a great feeling to come out here and actually put Clinton on the map,” said Sexton. “It’s hard, from a small school, to get recruited in Division one. It’s even hard to get in Division two. It’s always been a dream of mine. That’s honestly been my dream, to put Clinton on the map.”
 
Sexton has worked very hard to make this happen. He is going to switch positions when playing for the Eagles, going from a running back to a wide receiver.
 
“This is great exposure for Clinton Community Schools to have a Division one athlete,” said Clinton varsity football coach Scott McNitt. “He’s earned the opportunity to play Division one football. His speed and competitive spirit are the big factors that separate him from the rest. To say he’s from Clinton Community Schools is huge. It’s a program accomplishment.”
 
It’s been three years since Sexton was used as a receiver for the Redskins. If a fan watches his season highlight tape they’ll see him featured as a running back that makes mad dashes to the end zone. What they don’t see is his workouts in the offseason where he practices and plays wide receiver.
 
“That’s how I got the wide receiver position,” said Sexton. 
 
He said he was at a well-known and highly respected RAS Camp when an Eastern representative approached him.
 
“I almost didn’t go to that camp,” said Sexton. “I’ve made the mistake of going as a running back to some of these camps. But I was told by my off-season coach, ‘you’re not big enough for the running back position. You need to be slot; you need to go to receiver.’ I took that to heart and really started doing that and working on it.”
 
He admitted that it will not be an easy move to make, but noted that he was always working to improve in high school and that will be no different when he is in college. “It’s not like it’s going to be a huge transition, you know. Yea, it’s D-one from a little high school but I think I’ll be alright.”
 
Sexton said he is unsure how many football records he set at Clinton High School but he is not focused on that.
 
“I’m not a big guy on stats and awards and stuff like that,” he said. “I go out there and play the game. I don’t even know the records I’ve broken. I’ve heard I’ve broken like nine of them. But it’s not really that big of a deal to me.”
 
What stands out most to Sexton is the two times he and his teammates advanced to Ford Field, the home of the Detroit Lions, for the state finals.
 
“Going to Ford Field twice in my career was probably the highlight of it,” said Sexton. “Because it’s really something special. We lost, but it’s a great experience.”
 
He will major in Business at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 university, located in Ypsilanti. However, he will resort to using his degree only if he doesn’t advance to the National Football League (NFL). “That’s my ultimate dream, is going to the NFL,” said Sexton.
 
If his dream of playing as a pro doesn’t work out he’ll look into opening a fitness type of business because he just loves working out. “I think that benefits me a lot for football, too,” he said with a grin. “Because I enjoy doing those workouts, I enjoy making my body just feel like absolute crap.”
 
Regardless of where Sexton continued his football career, coach McNitt said he is a team player and will give Eastern Michigan University everything he’s got.
 
“He’s a team guy and he’ll tell you, the team’s first here,” McNitt said. “He has it in him to be a great receiver. But, he’ll have to adjust to a new level of competition and speed and see how he reacts to a brand new program and coaches. But we wish him the best. He’s been great for our program. I’m sure the league loves to see him go but we hate to see guys like this leave. They don’t come around very often. We’ll keep an eye on him over there.”
 
“I love Eastern,” said Sexton. “It’s small town and the people there are great. It’s going to be fun.”

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