War Eagle Extra

Auburn assistant coach Kodi Burns talks satellite camps, young wide receivers during stop in Columbus

Auburn wide receivers coach Kodi Burns greets fans at Green Island Country Club on Thursday, June 9, 2016.
Auburn wide receivers coach Kodi Burns greets fans at Green Island Country Club on Thursday, June 9, 2016. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn wide receivers coach Kodi Burns had an idea what was coming as the special guest at the Columbus and Phenix City Auburn Club’s annual meeting Thursday night.

Burns worked the room introducing himself to more than 100 fans at the Green Island Country Club. Before shaking any hands, the Auburn alum anticipated what the popular questions would be.

“The first question is always am I glad to be back? And the second one is who is the quarterback going to be?” Burns said chuckling. “I tell them all the same thing. Yes, and you’ll find out the first game.”

It was the second time this month the country club hosted a team out of the SEC. The Chattahoochee Valley Bama Club held its annual spring dinner at the venue with special guests Bobby Humphrey and secondary coach Derrick Ansley.

Burns’ stop in the area was a brief one with the coach heading out to the airport after the event to catch a flight to Miami, Florida where the Tigers are hosting a satellite camp with Booker T. Washington High and four other area high schools this weekend.

The wide receivers coach had his first exposure to satellite camps last week when he was one of Auburn’s guest coaches at Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Elite Football Camp.

Burns remains skeptical of the camps, which is very much in line with the view of his boss Gus Malzahn. The former wide receiver also worries about how they will impact high school football with kids focused on attending camps at the expense of spending time with their own team.

“It’s (satellite camps) in a weird place,” Burns said. “The SEC coaches voted it down and I agree with our head coach. I just think it’s getting a little out of hand. A high school kid now is no longer working with his high school in the summer time and that’s what it’s all about it is winning championships at your high school. Now it’s really polluted with kids trying to go to 50 camps in one summer. “

A subject Burns is eager to talk about is his young receiving corps. A trio of true freshman — Nate Craig-Myers, Marquis McClain and Eli Stove — reported to campus in May joining early enrollee Kyle Davis.

“I think they are a little bit older maturity wise than their age,” Burns said. “They are working hard. They have a long way to go, but they will get there. They past the rule a couple years ago you get two hours a week in the summer time to work with these guys, so that’s really big for the guys coming in now to kind of learn the offense and learn how we do things.”

If Burns is worried about the group’s inexperience, he doesn’t show it. Burns is downright excited at the prospect of molding the underclassman with his own coaching blueprint.

“They are going to do it my way, which is the right way,” Burns said. “We are going to get back to playing fast, which is the way Auburn football should be played. I think it’s good we are inexperienced, I can show them the way.”

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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