Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country
The best news of the week for Auburn football was that Tennessee hired a head coach — and it wasn't Kevin Steele.

Auburn football: Praise, honors keep coming for 2017 Tigers

Auburn football is the No. 1 topic in the War Eagle Wakeup every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across the Tigers’ sports world. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Auburn football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Steele curtain gets a nod 

The best part of the week was Tennessee hiring a head coach that wasn’t named Kevin Steele. The coaching veteran in his second season with Auburn was named a Broyles Award finalist, but missed out on claiming the honor.

However, Football Scoop named Steele the 2017 defensive coordinator of the year on Thursday afternoon.

The Tigers were scary in a second year of Steele, but with key players like Jeff Holland and Dontavius Russell returning, the defense could be flat-out horrifying in 2018.

Phenomenal freshmen 

Sticking to the defense, a couple of impressive freshmen stood out among Auburn’s talented group this season.

The 2017 All-SEC freshman team was chosen by the conference’s coaches and announced on Thursday, and includes Auburn defensive ends Nick Coe and Big Kat Bryant.

Coe played in all of Auburn’s games this season, totaling 39 tackles, 2 sacks and 6 quarterback hurries. Bryant may have been a true freshman who didn’t arrive on campus until the summer, but that didn’t stop the Cordele, Ga., native from shining.

Bryant played in 11 games and recorded 5 tackles, 2 sacks (both of which came during SEC play) and forced a fumble.

Keep an eye out for the damage that the duo does in the Peach Bowl and spring.

A Texas gem 

Just how good was Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham after a couple of rocky starts? He was one of the best college football players from the state of Texas, and that’s saying a lot.

Stidham, a high school standout in Texas, is a finalist for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, along with Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, USC’s Ronald Jones II, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma State’s James Washington.

The Stephenville, Texas, native led the SEC in completion percentage (he ranks seventh nationally) while averaging 217.5 passing yards per game. The winner of the award will be announced on Jan. 10.

In other Auburn football news:

Basketball seeking another win

Did you miss the Auburn men’s basketball’s win over Gardner-Webb on Wednesday night? Want to see the action that unfolded on the court?

Check out the highlights from the midweek win here:

And don’t miss the Saturday game against UAB in Auburn Arena. Some this week have called it a baby rivalry, and the Blazers are one of the best teams Auburn will have faced yet.

Tweet of the day 

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