Days to kickoff: 31
"Fast Freddie" Smith was the greatest linebacker ever to suit up in an Auburn uniform. You disagree? I'm sorry, let me explain the rules for today: It ain't open for debate!
Freddie Smith was a high school All-American in Athens, AL, where he played RB and LB. On offense, he had nearly 5,000 yards rushing in his high school career, including over 2,150 as a senior when he led Athens to a state championship. He also had 385 tackles in his 3 year H.S. career. He chose Auburn over numerous other major college offers, including that other school, because Auburn was a friendly place and he felt at home there (don't we all!).
When he arrived in Auburn in the fall of 1976, Fast Freddie didn't care if he was on offense or defense (or both), he just wanted to be on the field helping Auburn win football games. The coaches decided he was needed more on defense, which was OK with Freddie. He decided it was better to give than receive. How quickly did Freddie Smith adjust to the college game? Well, they didn't call him Fast Freddie without reason.
In his 2nd game as a true freshman, Freddie Smith led Auburn's defense with TWENTY-TWO tackles in a 15-14 loss to the Baylor Bears. The following week, he decided he needed to step up his game for SEC play as he recorded TWENTY-FOUR tackles in Auburn's 38-28 bashing of the Vols. Fast Freddie finished his Auburn career with 528 tackles, averaging 13.2 tackles/game. No one else is even close.
After his stellar Auburn career, Mr. Smith played with the Vikings in the NFL and starred for the Winnipeg Bombers in the CFL. In 1983 he teamed up with several former Auburn players on the roster of the B'ham Stallions of the USFL. As of 2008, Mr. Smith had been employed by Brasfield & Gorrie in Birmingham for 20 years. He was also inducted into the Limestone County Hall of Fame last year.
We've got some other 31s we should honorably mention: I'll start with Antarrious Williams. Talk about a lunch pail guy that put in a full shift every day - dude could play. And 3 cheers to Rob Pate. The floor is now open for more 31 shout outs.
--compiled capably by TarHeelTiger