Very few players have been as well-liked and respected as Auburn’s Kodi Burns. And there’s good reason why.
Before Burns was catching passes from Cam Newton and selected to present President Obama with a custom Auburn football jersey, he was a four-star quarterback eager to take snaps for the Tigers.
The former quarterback-turned-receiver first stepped on the scene in 2007. As a freshman, he rushed in for a dramatic touchdown against Mississippi State in what would be his “coming out party.”
Burns went on to start several games over the next two seasons. He won the Tigers fans over once again in 2009 after he lost his starting job to Chris Todd, selflessly rallying his team around the new quarterback.
Burns now has the opportunity to make many more memories on the Plains. This time as a coach.
An excited Kodi Burns took to Twitter in December to break the news, tweeting, “It is true! I am coming back home.”
Burns spoke highly of the chance to return. When asked how it feels, he was able to sum it up with one word, “exciting!”
Burns continued, in an interview with Auburn Undercover’s Phillip Marshall, “When you live somewhere for five years and are part of a national championship team, this place is always going to be special to (you). Even the thought of being able to come back is a dream come true, and being able to contribute and help out with the guys is really fun.”
Head coach Gus Malzahn hired Burns as a graduate assistant. He will be responsible for helping offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee with the quarterbacks and co-offensive coordinator Dameyune Craig with the wide receivers.
Lucky for the Tigers, Burns knows firsthand about some of the issues plaguing current players.
“Having been part of an SEC and national championship team, playing receiver and quarterback in the SEC and starting at both, I just know there is a lot I can give back.”
An immediate place where the former quarterback/receiver sees a chance to “give back” is in the Tigers backfield, starting with fellow Arkansas native Kiehl Frazier.
“We just need (Kiehl) to be who he is, be himself and lead the team. Him and (Jonathan) Wallace and all those guys. That’s where I think I can come in and help out.”
With spring practice just a few weeks away, Burns, Malzahn and the rest of the coaching staff will soon find out how much help is needed to restore the Tigers to their championship level.
A young coach like Kodi Burns, who has experienced everything from catching a touchdown in the national championship game to presenting an Auburn jersey to President Obama, will surely serve as an awesome resource on this new staff.
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