Opening His Options: Prospect Plans to Visit AU

This high school senior is reconsidering his college choice and plans to take a serious look at the 12-0 Auburn Tigers.

Hickory, N.C.--A high school senior with impressive kicking credentials says he will be on the Auburn campus this coming weekend for an official visit.

Ryan Succop, 6-3, 205-pound All-State kicker from Hickory High School, tells Inside the Auburn Tigers that he is looking forward to his visit to check out Coach Tommy Tuberville's 12-0 team.

Earlier this year, Succop decided he was going to sign with Lou Holtz and the South Carolina Gamecocks. However, he has decided to look at other options and the first one is an offer from the Tigers.

"Auburn came on real late," Succop says. "Coach Eddie Gran (AU running backs and special teams coach) started calling me about a month ago. He was wondering if I was interested in Auburn and he offered a scholarship. I had committed to South Carolina a couple months ago before I knew about Auburn. I really just want to come down and come see the school. I am interested, but I want to get a chance to see it because I haven't been down there yet."

Ryan Succop

As a senior, Succop connected on 12-14 field goal attempts and hit 96 percent of his kickoffs into or out of the end zone for touchbacks while also averaging better than 43 yards per punt. He is expected to earn All-State honors this season.

As a junior, he earned All-State honors as he made 8-10 field goals with a career longest 53-yarder. He kicked 90 percent of his kickoffs for touchbacks and averaged 43 yards per punt.

A four-year varsity starter, he has been named the Southwestern Foothills Conference all-league kicker each season and is a four-time All-Region pick.

Succop says he plans to take an official visit to see South Carolina on Jan. 14th and has been talking to other colleges such as North Carolina, N.C. State, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Louisville. "When I committed to South Carolina, I committed to Coach Holtz," Succop says. "I talked with Coach Spurrier on the phone last week for a little while." Steve Spurrier was hired as the new head coach at South Carolina to replace Lou Holtz, who retired last month.

In addition to playing football in the fall, Succop stays busy as a forward on the Hickory High soccer team, where he is a four-year starter and a three-time All-State pick. "I have been conference player of the year the past couple of years in soccer," Succop notes. "I played basketball my first two years in high school, but I didn't play this year."

In the spring, he competes on the Hickory High golf team, which he helped to the Class 3A state championship as a sophomore.

Succop says that kicking is his strong suit. "My punting has been getting better," he adds. "It didn't come naturally to me at first playing soccer. Playing soccer, I picked up the kicking pretty well. I am a better kickoff and field goal guy than I am a punter."

Prior to his senior season, Succop traveled to California for a national kicking competition and did well.

"I went to the Chris Sailers kicking camps," he says. "He has a thing called the Top 12, which is supposed to be the Top 12 kickers and punters in the country. This summer I went out to California and competed in that and finished first in the country. That was good. I think I finished as the best at kickoffs in the country, the best field goal guy and the fifth or sixth best punter. It was out near Los Angeles."

In addition to his accuracy, the leg strength has obviously caught the attention of the Auburn coaching staffs. "I hit a lot of my kickoffs through the uprights this year," Succop says.

In practice, the kicker says he has been able to make field goals from just under 65 yards.

His official visit to Auburn will be his first trip to the SEC college. "To be honest, I don't know much about Auburn," he says. "Obviously, this year I have become a little familiar with them getting to watch them play on TV a few times. They are doing very well. I don't really know too much about them, but I am looking forward to coming down there and seeing what it is all about. I just want to get a chance to see it and then we will go from there."

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