Tailback Makes Move to Secure Starting Assignment

Running back Tre Smith talks about Auburn's final spring scrimmage and trying to earn the starting job.

Auburn, Ala.–-Tre Smith heard all the talk about Kenny Irons and Carl Stewart following last Saturday's A-Day game at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

After both had solid games and Smith didn't put up equal numbers, some assumed that it looked like Smith wasn't going to be the starter at tailback after all for the Tigers when they open play next season as the defending SEC Champions.

Following Wednesday's final scrimmage of the spring, Smith showed those assumptions may have been a little premature. Rushing for 120 yards on 19 carries and showing the ability to make people miss and also break tackles for extra yards, Smith says that the knew he had to make some noise in the last scrimmage to show offensive coordinator Al Borges and running backs coach Eddie Gran that he deserves first string status heading into the summer.

"It was the last scrimmage you have so it's in everybody's mind," Smith says. "This was the last chance you have to try to solidify a position. I knew it was my last chance and I was playing my hardest. You have good days and bad days. I wasn't real excited after last week's A-Day game so for the last scrimmage I wanted to come out and do a little better."

Tre Smith impressed his coaches with his running in the final scrimmage of spring drills.

Auburn's Tommy Tuberville has seen plenty of Smith since the 5-10, 200 running back has been on the Auburn campus. Recruited by the Tigers after he won the Class 6A Player of the Year award in Florida as a senior, he has been one of the most talented players on the team since he set foot on campus. Showing the ability to run the ball and be very effective doing so, Smith patiently waited for his turn behind Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown. Tuberville said that time has come.

"Tre Smith, every practice or every game he makes one move and you don't know how he did it," Tuberville says. "He did it again (Wednesay). He just keeps getting better. He's a guy that has been looking forward to starting for the Auburn Tigers and he'll have that opportunity next September."

Much of Smith's action in the final scrimmage came on the first drive that pitted the first-team offense against the first-team defense. Starting from its own 20-yard line, the offense ran the ball 15 consecutive times before a two-yard touchdown run by Smith closed it out in style. Smith says that Borges told them before the scrimmage that was his plan coming into the day.

"Coach was saying when we came out there, he told us ‘we're not going to throw a pass on the first drive, we're just going to run it'," Smith says. "We wanted to make sure as an offense that we could control our defense. We just shoved it down their throats."

Unlike the three scrimmages earlier this spring, Wednesday's featured a strong finish by the offense. After a sluggish middle portion of the scrimmage in which the defense held the upper hand, the offense scored on four consecutive drives to put a cap on a successful spring practice. Smith says that gives the group confidence heading into the summer that they'll be able to get the job done next fall.

"That's what you try to do in everything you do, you try to finish strong," Smith says. "That's what we did."

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