Florida’s Martez Ivey wasn’t the only offensive guard at SEC Media Days who is moving to tackle for 2017.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said Thursday that senior offensive lineman Braden Smith has a “good chance” to start at right tackle for the Tigers in 2017. Smith has started 27 games for the team at guard, earning Second Team All-American honors in 2016.
Malzahn said Smith has the flexibility to play guard or tackle. He added that he hopes to get Smith and the other older players situated before too long.
“The veteran guys, we’ve got to get them in position,” Malzahn said. “That’s kind of what me and (offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey) and (offensive line coach Herb Hand) have talked about, getting those guys in position and let those other guys compete. That’s kind of the plan moving forward.”
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Unlike Ivey at Florida, Smith’s work at tackle is quite limited. He said he played tackle for a little while his freshman year at Olathe South High School in Kansas but primarily played guard ever since. Despite what he deemed a “learning curve,” Smith said he is confident in his transition down the line.
“There’s always adjustments when it comes to switching positions,” Smith said. “It’s obviously a different lifestyle playing guard when you don’t have have as much space. Of course, you have more space at tackle.
“You get more reps, you’re going to get better.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports