Auburn Offers 2014 In-State Standout

2014 prospect Ronnie Clark got big news on Friday as the Auburn Tigers extended an early offer.

Calera, Ala.—Known more as a basketball player for much of his early years, 6-3, 205 safety prospect Ronnie Clark has gained more and more notice on the football field the last two seasons for the Eagles. On Friday the 2014 prospect's football notoriety reached new levels when he was offered by the Auburn Tigers following a visit to the Plains.

"I was pretty amazed," Clark said of getting his first offer from Auburn. "I didn't expect it. It shocked me. I had no clue."

Getting the news directly from Auburn Coach Gene Chizik, Clark said the coach told him they liked what they saw from him on the field and are looking for players to come in and help at a position of need for the Tigers.

"He was like, he knows I can play any types of position because he knows I'm an athlete but they want me at safety," Clark said. "That's the spot they need me at. He knows I can catch it, throw it, run it, do whatever, but they want me at safety. That's what he offered me for."

A tremendous athlete with 4.59 speed in the 40-yard dash to go along with a 40-inch vertical leap, Clark had been to Auburn just once before as his team was on hand for the Tigers' win over Arkansas in 2010. This time around he had the opportunity to visit the facilities and see the newly updated weight room as well as the indoor facility. Clark said everything he saw just blew him away.

"I was very impressed," Clark said. "I liked everything. It just amazes me because of what all I was told and what I have seen. It's just a great place to be and would be a great place to be for the next four years."

In addition to Chizik, Clark said he enjoyed the chance to sit down with the Auburn coaches and just talk about life on the Plains. That meant time with defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, secondary coach Willie Martinez, and wide receiver coach Trooper Taylor.

"I just viewed the campus and watched practice and went to the meetings," he said. "I talked to all the coaches. I got to know them and they got to know me better."

It was his meeting with VanGorder that stood out however. After watching practices and seeing a lack of depth at the safety position, Clark said he saw first-hand the opportunity at Auburn.

"That's one of their weakest positions on defense and they're looking forward to me coming back there," Clark said. "Coach VanGorder is a very good coach. I believe that Auburn is going to be better than they were in the past and he's going to rebuild the tradition back up."

Also hearing from Alabama, LSU, and Tennessee, Clark said having his first offer come from a school like Auburn means everything to him and it puts the Tigers at the top of his early list. Even though basketball is still a favorite sport and he's likely to get some interest in that sport as well, he said right now he's focused on life as a football player in his future.

"Right now I'm thinking football is what I'm probably going to end up doing," Clark said. "In basketball I'm getting looked at because I play on an AAU team that is real good, but I think football is what I want to do."

Preparing for his junior season, Clark said at the moment he's focused on becoming a better player for the Eagles. In addition he said he wants to continue to be a player his coaches and teammates can count on and become a leader for his team.

"Lead, that's what I feel like I do the best on the field," Clark said. "I think me doing what I do, people take after that. When they see me make plays and do right, it makes them want to do right. Getting some attention from colleges for me will make them work harder. That's what I think I do best, lead."

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