SZN Opener: Auburn University Safety Jaylin Simpson Reflects On Senior Season, Preparing For NFL Draft, More

Jaylin Simpson #36 of the Auburn Tigers during their game against the New Mexico State Aggies at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 18, 2023, in Auburn, Alabama. | Source: Michael Chang / Getty

SZN Opener is back with new episodes dropping every week. On Season 2 of this dynamic podcast series, host and noted sports analyst Monica McNutt showcases Black college athletes and explores their triumphs, challenges and aspirations along their sports journeys.

Kayvon Thibodeaux of the New York Giants is our special SZN Opener guest host for the final episode of the season. The NFL linebacker sits down with Jaylin Simpson of Auburn University to talk about closing out his senior season and looking ahead to the NFL Draft.

Simpson leaves Auburn as one of the highest-ranking safeties entering the NFL Draft

Growing up in Brunswick, Georgia, Simpson was an all-around athlete, playing football, basketball, baseball, soccer and track. “I fell in love with football around my sophomore year of high school,” he says. “I just love defense … I ended up getting an offer and the rest is history.”

The Auburn University senior is wrapping up his best season yet. “Overall I’m proud of myself, I’m proud of my team,” Simpson says. “For my senior year, it was fun being a leader to my team and I’m just looking forward to seeing what this next level is like.”

This February, Simpson will play in the 2024 Senior Bowl alongside fellow NFL Draft prospects. Simpson’s skills on the field impressed over his career with the Auburn Tigers, positioning the senior safety as a solid draft pick.

In December, Simpson earned All-SEC honors alongside two of his Tigers teammates, Jarquez Hunter and Rivaldo Fairweather, for their accomplishments on the field.

Declaring for the draft: “I’m ready to get out there and display myself in the best way I can.”

As Simpson shifts his focus beyond college football, the Auburn athlete has a lot to look forward to. “I’m just excited to see myself work and see myself grow,” he says. ​“I’m ready to get it kicked off and get into training, get in a routine, get out there and display myself in the best way I can.”

NY Giants linebacker Thibodeaux offers words of advice and encouragement to Simpson as he navigates this next chapter. From choosing agents, trainers and financial advisers, there’s a lot to manage with stepping into the professional league.

“You want to make sure that you give them every ounce of confidence in you, your ability and your character in who you are as a player and a man,” Thibodeaux says.

“Make sure you’re asking the right questions … make sure you’re cross-referencing,” he adds. “You’re still dealing with people at the end of the day. So whether it’s a trainer, whether it’s an agent, whether it’s a marketing agency—make sure you like the people and you know they can represent you when you’re not in the room.”

Simpson also shares how COVID affected his college experience, what it was like to declare for the 2024 draft, and his mixed feelings about NIL (name, image and likeness).

Catch the full conversation with Jaylin Simpson above. Listen to Episode 7 of SZN Opener Season 2 on the Urban One podcasts platform or your favorite streaming app.


SZN Opener: USC Forward Vince Iwuchukwu Talks Joining The Big Ten, Cardiac Recovery & More

SZN Opener: LSU Wide Receiver Kyren Lacy Talks Going From The Sun Belt To The SEC, Player Development & More

The post SZN Opener: Auburn University Safety Jaylin Simpson Reflects On Senior Season, Preparing For NFL Draft, More appeared first on NewsOne.

Help Stop Hate! Spread Love

Widely disseminated misinformation is extremely harmful and serves as a catalyst for hatred, violence and prejudice of every kind. This is counterproductive to the unification and strengthening of a nation. News outlets and journalists have a major responsibility to maintain a high degree of partiality and truthfulness that many Americans feel is not being honored. ADL, the Anti-Semitism Defense League is dedicated to offering impartial education on issues involving anti-Semitism to help Americans make informed decisions. A not-for-profit public service organization powered by Love, ADL provides free resources that educate society on anti-Semitism and ways to work together to combat the ancient hatred while promoting equality and prosperity for all people.

Free Download


Featured Articles

Breach of Contract and Conspiracy to Deprive of Civil Rights: An Evaluation of Potential Legal Claims and Criminal Charges Stemming from the Defamatory Social Lynching of Kyrie Irving

Basketball star Kyrie Irving captured the media’s attention when he faced allegations of anti-Semitism due to a social media post containing a link to the film, “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.” Succumbing to external pressure, Irving removed the controversial post and offered a public apology. Nonetheless, upon further examination of the circumstances, it appears that Irving might have been criminally deprived of his rights, and could potentially possess a legal claim against his former employer for violating contractual terms.

Send Us A Message

News & Opinions