Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country
Auburn senior Braden Smith was one of three players who shined on SEC Media Days.

Auburn football: A new Braden Smith; recapping SEC Media Days

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily War Eagle Wakeup, a rundown of everything happening in Auburn football and Auburn Tigers athletics with Lauren Shute. Today, we discuss the precedent Braden Smith set at SEC Media Days and what you need to do to get the best recap of all the talking in Hoover, Ala. 

Big 5-0 

Fifty days. That’s all that’s left until football season.

Auburn fans waited patiently for the start of spring practice after the Tigers fell in the Sugar Bowl in January. Then came the grasping for bits of information while awaiting quarterback Jarrett Stidham’s first showing in the A-Day game.

In April, Stidham appeared to be a puzzle piece Auburn has been missing during the last few seasons. The next step was SEC Media Days in Hoover.

SEC Country will provide several reasons for Auburn fans to get pumped in the days leading up to the start of fall camp (July 31) — and there are several.

A bolder Braden Smith 

Given the choice last season or at any time previously in his career on the Plains, Smith, an offensive lineman, probably would have opted out of any media appearance. But not this season.

Smith, who has a chance to raise his draft stock after a successful junior season, seemed almost like a different person as he sat in front of media members on Thursday.

Smiles, laughs, jokes — Smith offered it all. He elaborated and appeared to be the most conscious interview from the trio of Auburn players present.

Even as journalists dwindled, instead wandering over to Daniel Carlson or Tray Matthews (the duo was interviewed quite a bit in 2016), Smith was excellent. His calm demeanor and insightful answers very well may have been one of the most telling parts of the day.

There are a few kinks to work out, of course. The offensive line still needs to be solidified. Coach Gus Malzahn has to name a starting punter. Then there’s that Stidham player everyone keeps raving about.

Confidence is easy to read — and that’s exactly what a new and perhaps somewhat improved, media friendly Smith exuded.


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