Football Tigers Reward Outstanding Walk-on

An Auburn University walk-on football player got good news on Friday.

Auburn, Ala.--One of the more impressive walk-on football players in recent years at Auburn University is now a scholarship athlete.

Head coach Tommy Tuberville told Rodgeriqus Smith on Friday that the junior wide receiver will have his schooling paid for by AU.

"Rod is one of a long-line of guys who have earned scholarships at Auburn," Tommy Tuberville tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "We always promised walk-ons if they come in and work hard and contribute to the team, sooner or later we will try to get them on scholarship.

"Rod has worked hard and has earned it," Tuberville adds. "The players respect him. He had a great spring this year and a great fall last season. Not everybody has to be a scholarship player to be effective and to be a good college football player. We hope this helps Rod out and helps out his family."

Smith, who has been working on adding size and strength this summer, is shown at a Thursday evening workout.

Smith was named the most improved player by the coaching staff in spring training and he was the most impressive wideout on the field. In the spring scrimmages he was the leading receiver with 14 catches for 313 yards and three touchdowns.

As a sophomore the 6-2, 192-pounder from South Gwinnett High in Snellville, Ga., started all 13 games and was the second leading receiver behind 2006 senior Courtney Taylor. Smith caught 26 passes for 452 yards and four touchdowns. He had six catches for 109 yards in 2005 after walking on to the team in 2004 and redshirting.

"We have had players like Joe Cope, Jeremy Ingle and Zach Gilbert who have walked on and earned scholarship," Tuberville says. "This is certainly a well-deserved scholarship for Rod."

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