Auburn Awards Rod Smith a Scholarship

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Rod Smith can shelve those student loan applications this year.

The Auburn receiver from Snellville, Georgia, was awarded a scholarship by coach Tommy Tuberville during a team meeting yesterday, a big moment for a player who has gone from walk-on to starter.

Tuberville had Smith stand during the meeting, then praised his leadership and announced that the junior had earned a scholarship.

Smith said "It caught me off guard. I had no idea he was going to do this for me at all. I think I'll appreciate this more than anyone. From the first day, I worked hard for these coaches. I'm just thankful that the coaches gave me a chance."

Smith was Auburn's Number two receiver last season, with 26 catches for 452 yards and a team-high four touchdowns. With Courtney Taylor's departure, he could play an even bigger role in the Tigers' offense this season.

He's expected to open the season as Auburn's top wide receiver in a position thin on experience.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)