Auburn’s Braden Smith uses combine bench press to donate money to Autism Speaks

Published 1:00 pm, Friday, March 2, 2018

Auburn offensive lineman Braden Smith walks off stage after competing in the bench press at the 2018 NFL football scouting combine Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Indianapolis. Smith made a donation to Autism for every rep. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan) Photo: Gregory Payan, Associated Press / Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Auburn offensive lineman Braden Smith walks off stage after competing in the bench press at the 2018 NFL football scouting combine Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Indianapolis. Smith made a donation to Autism for every rep. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan) Photo: Gregory Payan, Associated Press / Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 01: Auburn offensive lineman Braden Smith speaks to the media during NFL Combine press conferences at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo: Joe Robbins, Getty Images / 2018 Getty Images window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: ‘thumbnails-c’, container: ‘taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-4’, placement: ‘Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 4’, target_type: ‘mix’ }); _taboola.push({flush: true});

Photo: Gregory Payan, Associated Press

Auburn offensive lineman Braden Smith walks off stage after competing in the bench press at the 2018 NFL football scouting combine Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Indianapolis. Smith made a donation to Autism for every rep. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan) less Auburn offensive lineman Braden Smith walks off stage after competing in the bench press at the 2018 NFL football scouting combine Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Indianapolis. Smith made a donation to Autism for … more Photo: Gregory Payan, Associated Press Auburn offensive lineman Braden Smith walks off stage after competing in the bench press at the 2018 NFL football scouting combine Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Indianapolis. Smith made a donation to Autism for every rep. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan) less Auburn offensive lineman Braden Smith walks off stage after competing in the bench press at the 2018 NFL football scouting combine Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Indianapolis. Smith made a donation to Autism for … more Photo: Gregory Payan, Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 01: Auburn offensive lineman Braden Smith speaks to the media during NFL Combine press conferences at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 01: Auburn offensive lineman Braden Smith speaks to the media during NFL Combine press conferences at the Indiana Convention Center on March 1, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Photo: Joe Robbins, Getty Images

Auburn’s Braden Smith uses combine bench press to donate money to Autism Speaks

INDIANAPOLIS – Auburn guard Braden Smith came to the combine with a pretty cool goal. For each rep he performed on the bench press, he would donate money from his first contract to Autism Speaks.

“I got the idea from my agent,” Smith said. “It was something I could do to give back while also doing the combine. It was kind of a win-win. I reached my goal.”

Smith benched 225 pounds 35 times, earning $3,000 for Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization that sponsors autism research.

“It’s something I did when I was young back in elementary school,” Smith said. “We had this little program at our school where we’d work with people with autism, get them accustomed. Elementary school kids don’t quite know how to handle situations, so just kind of being there for them, giving them someone to talk to. It’s something I enjoyed when I was young.”

Benching 225 pounds 35 times is impressive.

“I wish I could have gotten more,” Smith said, “but I reached my goal, and it’s going toward a good cause. There were different types of donations we could have done, but we reached the goal of $3,000 dollars. I helped the foundation today and set myself up (with NFL teams) pretty good.”

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