Auburn Recruit Has Chance To Play Early

An Auburn recruit talks about his official visit over the weekend to check out the football Tigers.

Brentwood, Tenn.--Kody Bliss got a late start on his official recruiting visit to Auburn over the weekend, but said the trip "went great."

Bliss didn't arrive on campus until midnight when he flew in with his high school teammate King Dunlap, who had a Friday night basketball game to play in back in the Nashville area. "The only thing we did on Friday was get something to eat and go to our rooms," Bliss said.

Both Bliss and Dunlap announced earlier that they plan to sign with Auburn on Feb. 5th. Dunlap won a Tennessee Mr. Football Award for linemen as a senior and Bliss was a finalist.

Bliss, a talented punter and kicker from Brentwood Academy, said that Coach Tommy Tuberville and special teams coach Eddie Gran both told him that he would have a chance to play as a true freshman this fall.

"Coach Tuberville didn't promise me anything, but he said he thought that I would have a chance to play soon," Bliss said. "He told me we were going to have three kickers and whoever did the best would get the job." The player who punted, kicked off and handled field goals, Damon Duval, was a senior in 2002 and has already earned his degree. Duval is not finished with football though. He will participate in the Senior Bowl this month in Mobile.

One of the players that Bliss will be competing with for the kickoff and field goal duties, Philip Yost, was his player host for the weekend. Also during the weekend, he spent time with a pair of familiar faces--linebacker Jake Slaughter and offensive tackle Taylor Bourgeois, both former stars at Brentwood Academy.

Bliss said that he is considering engineering as a college major, but is not certain yet. He met with Auburn academic officials and learned about the variety of engineering degrees that the university offers. "They told me there are eight or nine different programs available," Bliss noted.

The senior, who has one of the stronger legs of any Auburn recruit in many year with a career punting average in the high 40s, will put his strong legs to use later this year as a soccer player at Brentwood Academy. Currently, he is competing on the school's wrestling team.

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