The One

Fort Smith Northside do-it-all quarterback Kodi Burns (6-2, 190, 4.5) will lead his No. 1 ranked Grizzlies into battle Friday night against visiting No. 2 Fayetteville and then turn around and head to Fayetteville on Saturday to take in Arkansas' nationally-televised showdown with Alabama at 2:30 p.m. at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

One of the nation's top quarterbacks will be in Fayetteville Saturday afternoonfor the University of Arkansas' nationally televised game with Alabama, but he's got a little No. 1 vs. No. 2 action to take care of first.

Fort Smith Northside quarterback Kodi Burns (6-2, 190, 4.5), ranked as one of the top 10 signal callers in the country by and down to Arkansas and Auburn, is one of some 22 prospects who are expected to take unofficial visits to watch the Razorbacks and Crimson Tide hook it up at 2:30 p.m. on CBS.

That will be after his top-ranked Grizzlies (3-0) host second-ranked Fayetteville (3-0) Friday night in a 7 p.m. showdown and both teams' 7A-West conference opener in Fort Smith.

"I think it is going to be a great game with a lot of great players making great plays," Burns said. "We know that Fayetteville is a great team, we think we played really well last week (in a 35-7 mercy-rule win over Little Rock Catholic) and it's just going to be a lot of fun."

Burns joins Rogers offensive lineman Lee Ziemba (6-7, 305), Central Arkansas Christian tight end David Williams (6-3, 245) and Fayetteville cornerback Jake Arnold as the headliners of the uncommitted recruits who will be on campus on Saturday.

Williams will take his name out of that uncommitted group on Monday when he announces his decision between Arkansas and Oklahoma State in a 10:15 a.m. press conference at CAC.

Burns, however, isn't in that big of a hurry and has his mind mostly on Fayetteville, a team that shredded last season by passing for 257 yards and four scores and rushing for 127 yards and another TD as Northside won 42-26.

He has already thrown for 379 yards and four touchdowns and run for 255 yards and five more TDs in three games this season.

"It will be after the season before I decide," Burns said. "I've talked it over with my coach and I think that is the best way to do things. I don't need to be in a rush and just be sure. I'm going to take official visits to both schools and then make a decision. It could still go either way."

Others who are expected on hand are UA commitments in Butler County Community College running back Brandon Barnett (5-10, 180), offensive lineman Grant Cook (6-5, 305) and Seth Oxner (6-5, 290) of Monticello, Springdale kicker Alex Tejeda (5-11, 170) and junior offensive lineman Matt Hall (6-10, 320) of Dardanelle, a 2008 prospect who has already pledged to sign with the Razorbacks.

CAC wideout Joseph Adams (6-1, 180) and Fayetetville split end Gionni Harris (5-7, 160) are two other standout juniors who are also expected in attendance.

Burns is a dual-threat quarterback having passed for 2,182 yards and 20 touchdowns last season and rushing for 965 yards and 11 more scores while as a junior.

Burns, one of only two top 20 quarterbacks in the country to not yet commit somewhere, will have another chance to see Arkansas' offense in person, one that has begun to open up under new Razorback offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn.

"I've also said that I would really love to play for Coach Malzahn and the fact that they are becoming more balanced certainly appeals to me even more," Burns said. "I really like the way it's beginning to take shape."

Arkansas is now starting true freshman Mitch Mustain, the former Springdale standout who was the nation's top prep quarterback last season according to

Burns mentioned during the preseason on Sports Rap – a statewide sports radio call-in show – that he would like for Mustain to play this season instead of redshirting to put some distance between the two if both were on the Arkansas campus.

It's thought Arkansas has been selling Burns on the thought that he could redshirt unless needed his freshman year, split snaps as a redshirt freshman when Mustain was a junior and then take over and have three years left to be the unquestioned starter.

Auburn has junior Brandon Cox starting now with sophomore Blake Field as his backup and is redshirting freshmen quarterbacks Neal Caudle of Hoover, Ala and Steven Ensmigner of West Monroe,La., with sophomore Jonathon Vickers of Athens, Ala., also on the roster.

"I've thought about that and all that really doesn't matter that much to me now," Burns said. "Whether Mitch had played this season or not, that wasn't going to be that big of a factor in my decision. I know there are going to be great quarterbacks at both places and it's my job to just come in and earn playing time when it is time. That's just really not going to factor in."

Auburn is ranked No. 2 in the country this week while unranked Arkansas is trying to go 3-1 and win its first two league games for the first time since Houston Nutt's first season at Arkansas in 1998.

"I know that if I go to Auburn that they are going to be in a BCS bowl and have a chance of winning national championships while I am there," Burns said. "Arkansas is trying to get where Auburn is now and I think they have a shot to do that with all the young players that they have gotten lately. The biggest thing is that I would be playing for my home state if I came to Arkansas and that's something I really think a lot about."

Missouri offered Burns recently and Oklahoma has been recruiting him since it lost Rhett Bomar to NCAA irregularities, but he is not interested in the Sooners.

"I am not interested in Oklahoma," Burns said. "They call me and text me, but I am just not really thinking about any schools besides Arkansas and Auburn. I will sign with one of those two."

Burns has plans to take an official visit – likely along with Ziemba - to Auburn on Nov. 11 when the Tigers host Georgia and may also try to make it unofficially for Auburn's game with visiting Florida on Oct. 14.

"That visit for the Auburn-Georgia game is just about in cement," Burns said. "We'll see about the Auburn-Florida one."

He will also likely see more Arkansas games and will take an official visit to Arkansas – again likely with Ziemba – after the college regular season is over.

"I'm getting to see everything I need to see to make my decision," Burns said. "Like I said before, it could go either way."

Kodi Burns

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