Burns: A Win "Would Be A Dream Come True"

Kodi Burns talks to Inside the Auburn Tigers about his return home to Arkansas along with Lee Ziemba and Adam Herring.

Auburn, Ala.--The state of Arkansas usually isn't known as recruiting territory for the Auburn football program, but the Tigers signed three from the state in February. And all three are expected to make the trip to Fayetteville this weekend.

"There is a lot of family going to be at the game," says freshman quarterback Kodi Burns, who is part of the rotation at quarterback because of his dual-threat ability. "My family can't wait to see me. Fort Smith is about 40 or 45 minutes away from Fayetteville."

Burns went to Northside High in Fort Smith and was recruited heavily by the Razorbacks. One of the reasons he considered Arkansas before eventually choosing the Tigers is because of last year's coordinator Gus Malzahn, who left for Tulsa during a turmoil-filled off season.

"It was a pretty crazy time," Burns explains, "and it had a little something to do with it because you have to weigh everything out. Auburn seemed stable and Arkansas was kind of shaky at the time.

"I kept on holding out during the season and I finally came down to the decision and weighed out the differences that Auburn was my place. It worked out real well, because the main reason I wanted to go to Arkansas was to play for Malzahn, and he's obviously not there. In the end I made the right choice.

"Two or three of my best friends were happy for me and wanted me to go out of state," Burns adds. "My parents were going to support me whichever way I picked, but they kind of wanted me to get out of the state and experience something new besides Arkansas. There's a lot more to the world than Arkansas and I'm glad I made the decision."

Despite growing up less than an hour away from the Arkansas campus, Burns only went to one game at Razorback Stadium other than during his official visit as a senior in high school.

It's been a busy couple of weeks for Burns trying to gather up enough tickets for all of his family and friends back home who are planning on seeing him play on Saturday. However, he says he still expects to be his normal cool and collected self.

"When it boils down to it," he explains, "I could have gotten over-excited in the Florida game or any game just like that. It's an emotion-based game, but you've got to stick to fundamentals and how you play the game. I think emotions play a factor, but through preparation, practice and repetition, that's how you play.

"It means a lot," he adds of the return home. "There are a lot of people that want to see me play. The snaps that I do get, I've got to take advantage of them. Me and (Lee) Ziemba have been talking about this for a long time, to be able to go back to the home state and to be able to beat them would be a dream come true."

Ziemba is the starting right tackle for the Tigers and also chose Auburn over Arkansas despite living just down the road from Fayetteville in Rogers, Ark.


Big Ziemba won the starting job in two-a-days and hasn't looked back.

But the Auburn player with the closest ties is freshman linebacker Adam Herring, who is redshirting this season. Auburn had several empty spots on the bus out of the allotted 70 on its only other road trip this year to Florida, so Herring is going to get to travel.

His father is Arkansas defensive coordinator Reggie Herring.

"He's going to travel," Burns says of Adam Herring. "He's been excited about seeing his dad. His dad being on the busy schedule he is and Adam being on the busy schedule he is, it's kind of sad he only gets to see his dad a couple of times in a two, three or four year span. He's just real fired up about going."

Kickoff is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. CDT on ESPN.


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