PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Eddie Clark is about to be the first in his family to do something.

Go to college.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” said the Peoria High School grad. “(College) is not meant to be done from where I’m from. It’s a wonderful feeling. I’ve got to stay humble.”

After playing in last month’s Shriner’s high school all-star game, the former Lions star running back is now preparing to head to McKendree University to study business and play football. After a big career on the field at Peoria High, he’s primed to make a splash as a college football.

And that’s something he’s been thinking about for years.

“I’ve dreamed about this since I was little. It’s manifesting now,” Clark said. “My sophomore year of high school, I really fell in love with the game. From that point on, I thought I’d like to make it in the NFL.”

Clark is motivated to succeed in college because he knows his mother Aries Terrell would be proud of him. She died in 2020 when Clark was a junior in high school.

Every time he scores a touchdown, he points skyward to her, he says. Now he’s thinking about how he can honor her in college.

“I’ve thought about it. I’m definitely going to do something for her, take a knee (in the end zone). I’m thinking long and hard about it,” said Clark. “She’s be proud of me. She always wanted me to work on my goals and on myself, just for me. I know she’d be proud, very proud. I can see her smiling now. Keep making her proud and my family proud.”