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March 17, 2010

Distance not issue for AU punter signee

Former Park Hill punter Steven Clark has a long drive when he moves from Kansas City, Mo. to Auburn, Ala.

The 2010 signee will be leaving all of his family, friends, and everything that is familiar to him.

Clark had offers from schools closer to home, such as Iowa and Purdue, but his love for Auburn was too much to resist.

"I fell in love with it (Auburn)," said Clark. "I really don't think anything could top it."

Clark enjoyed his visits to other schools, but he thought Auburn had the most to offer. He felt like it was the complete package.

"I knew it was the place for me." Clark said. "It had a great football program and the campus was really nice.

"The people (fans) are great and it has good academics."

His mother, Diana Perry, said she is proud of her son's choice to attend Auburn. She will not let the distance away from home stop her from traveling to see him play.

"It's a great opportunity." Perry said. "I'll miss him, but you know there are airplanes that fly there, so I'm good.

"I don't intend to miss any (of his games)."

The 6-foot-5, 230 pound Clark is not your average punter. Most players who kick in college have played soccer in the past. With Clark, that isn't the case.

"I was one of the only specialists at all the camps I went to that never played soccer," he said.

Clark realized he had a talent for punting early in his high school career. He ended up becoming a first-team All-State punter, but kicking wasn't the reason he started playing football.

"My freshman year I was about six feet tall so (coach Greg Reynolds) got me to play offensive tackle and defensive end," said Clark. "Sophomore year I tried out for special teams and I played varsity, so I went from there."

Clark isn't afraid of the competition he will face at Auburn. He is willing to put in whatever effort it takes to succeed.

"I'm up for any competition, however it goes," Clark said. "(The other Auburn kickers) are all great guys."

Clark will start summer term May 20. He is pursuing an exercise science major.



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