Auburn Receiver Adjusting to New Offense

Auburn senior wide receiver Rod Smith discusses his final college football season.

Auburn, Ala.--Despite a quiet start to his final series of spring football practices on the Plains, a phrase that describes talented senior wide receiver Rod Smith again applies, like it always seems to--you can't keep a good man down.

Mirroring his humble beginnings in big-time college football as a walk-on following his highly recruited friend and fellow receiver, James Swinton, to Auburn, Rod Smith's start to the first set of spring drills under new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was pretty quiet and unassuming.

However, much like Smith quickly showed his talents and blossomed into a key player--becoming the Tigers' second leading receiver as a sophomore and becoming the team's leading receiver last season--the senior refused to stay quiet this spring and hauled in eight receptions for 146 in Auburn's final two spring scrimmages.

"It has definitely taken some time just getting used to the spread offense," Smith says. "But, we are coming along pretty good and I think I had a pretty solid spring.

"It may seem like I had I quiet spring," he continues. "But, I think I definitely had a good spring this year, so I am just looking forward to two-a-days and continuing to work in this offense."

Rod Smith goes high for a catch in spring drills.

He adds that although he may have spent a couple of practices looking a lot like his old, reliable self, he is nowhere near being satisfied with his performance.

"I am definitely not at the level I want to be at," Smith notes. "I am continuing to get better and better every day. I started out slow at the beginning of spring, but I think I improved every day.

"I didn't take any steps back, he adds. "I am working to get better and I expect it to carry over into two-a-days."

The sure-handed senior says that there are a couple of specific areas that he wants to spend time working on over the summer. "Just mainly my technique-just running great routes, you have to run great routes in this offense," he explains. "You have to be at the right spot at the right time so the quarterback can get you the ball, and on top of that just being a leader.

"This is my last year and I want to go out on top, and I'm just trying to get these younger guys to follow the leaders," Smith adds. "You know, I am a senior on the team and all of the younger guys are going to look up to me and that is what I am looking forward to this upcoming season."


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