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Tragedy spurs Clark to excel

As he climbs ladder to stardom, Colts TE is inspired by memory of mother

Originally Published: November 12, 2009
By Jeffri Chadiha | ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- The high-pitched shriek rattled Dallas Clark and sent him racing through that small white house in Livermore, Iowa.

He was only 18 then, a bright-eyed high school senior just three days from graduation and a long way from NFL stardom. But when Clark burst into his garage back in 1998, he saw how fast he was about to grow up: His 49-year-old mother, Jan, had stopped breathing. She had collapsed while cleaning up for Dallas' upcoming celebration.

Clark instantly spun ...

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