In this day and age, nothing really surprises me anymore. With the state of the economy, the way the youth generation has begun to change, and other things that just aren't the way they used to be, I feel justified in saying that.
Thursday night, I wasn't surprised. I was flat out shocked. So you're thinking, "Wow, you're shocked Chris Todd is the starting quarterback?"
No, not at all. I believe he's the man for the job.
So, you're thinking "Oh, so you must be shocked that Kodi Burns was moved to wide receiver?"
Nope, still not it.
How many of you Auburn fans were looking forward to steam rolling opponents on offense in 2008 after seeing Tony Franklin's offense throttle the Clemson Tigers in the Chick-fil-a Bowl? Okay everyone, put your hands down, myself included.
I was overjoyed with how it looked, and how the true difference in that game was Kodi Burns, the future of the Auburn Tigers.
We all know how 2008 went, and it wasn't how the Auburn Nation had hoped. It can't be the way Kodi Burns envisioned it either.
Head Coach Gene Chizik decided to move Kodi Burns to the wide receiver position for the good of the team. Picture this. A player goes from being directly in the spotlight of a prime time SEC team to being just another one of the receivers.
How would you respond? In most cases, the response wouldn't be pretty. Well, Kodi Burns is apparently not "most cases."
I've honestly never seen anyone respond the way he did. The after-practice media session could have been a nightmare for him. Then he goes and handles it like this.
"The coaches chose to go in another direction. I worked really hard. I tried to prove myself. Obviously, things didn't work out. But I believe God has a plan for me. They went with Chris. That's a good thing. It's a good thing for the team. I'm 100 percent behind him. Chris Todd is the quarterback and I have no problem with that. It was a great year and a great competition. I really appreciate the coaching staff," said Burns.
Wow. Impressive, to say the least.
Then Chizik says, "Kodi's a very talented young man and he's an Auburn man to the bone—very unselfish." That's how you earn the respect of your Coach.
On top of that, he then goes and gives a speech to his teammates about how he's behind all of this 100 percent? Even better. Sure, he admitted to being really disappointed, but who wouldn't be?
"Let me tell you something. He was unbelievable tonight. After we had the team meeting, he wanted to say some words to our team—truly, truly inspirational, very heartfelt. It was a tough day," said Chizik.
On Auburn University's campus no matter what the situation, you'll hear people talking about being an "Auburn man." While there may not technically be any laid out rules to qualify for that status, look no further than Kodi Burns.
Chizik followed with this. "He showed truly who he is today—just a guy with a lot of character and what a great competitor. Again, he's a true Auburn man. He wants to help Auburn win games. That showed today."
I'd say it showed. The world could use more people like Kodi Burns, and with support and unity like this coming from the Auburn locker room, things can only be looking up.