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Auburn offers No. 1 kicker

The nation’s top-ranked kicking prospect added a second SEC offer following a strong performance at an Auburn camp.

Austin Hardin from Marist in Atlanta, Ga., is the first special teams prospect to pick up an offer from Auburn in the 2012 class.

“(The Auburn offer) means a lot,” Hardin said. “I could have chosen tons of camps to go to but I chose Auburn for a reason. It’s close to home. I’m very interested in it. It’s a great school and obviously the success they had.

“...I finally got to meet all the coaches and they’re awesome. I love them.”

Hardin also has offers from Tennessee and Buffalo and is close to picking up an offer from Ole Miss after a strong performance at the Rebels camp this summer. He plans to camp at Florida and Virginia Tech later this summer.

“Hopefully before mid-July I’ll make my decision,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll have four or five schools to choose from but Auburn is definitely right up there.”

Hardin, 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds, is rated the nation’s No. 1 kicking prospect by Kohl’s. He nailed a 59-yard field goal in the final seconds to give Marist a 17-14 win over SW Dekalb last season.

He was standout at Auburn’s Kicking Academy this week.

“The kicking camp went really well,” he said. “I think what really impressed was my kickoffs. I charted really well on kickoffs. My furthest was an 87-yarder with 4.2 or 4.3 hang. I won the kickoff competition with a 78, 4.2 hang.

“They said they were looking for a combo guy. I do field goals and kickoffs. They’d love to have somebody that can kick it in the endzone every time.”

Hardin finished second in the field goal competition, coming up just short on his final kick, a 63-yarder, after his foot hit the ground before contact.

Hardin also attended an Auburn Junior Day earlier this spring and the Auburn-Georgia game last fall.

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