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Todd Vs Burns

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New Auburn offensive coordinator Tony Franklin has already indicated that the race to be the Tigers’ starting quarterback for 2008 is wide open. That means there are four players in the running with spring ball commencing this past Sunday: Kodi Burns, freshman DeRon Furr, Neil Caudle and Chris Todd. That said, barring a surprising performance by a young player (Furr) or a major improvement (Caudle),

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 this is shaping up to be a two-horse race between Burns and Todd.

Interestingly, at the end of last season it seemed like a one-horse show (Burns). However, soon after Franklin took over, Todd decided to transfer in and play for a man he was quite familiar with. You see, Franklin used to run a coaching consulting business and through that he worked with Todd back in high school. In fact, he was quite hard on him, particularly as it related to his fundamentals. Why, you ask?

“He was a guy I saw had a tremendous amount of talent,” said Franklin.

Don’t be fooled, though. This was not a whimsical relationship. The fact is that when Todd was coming out of high school, he and his family relied heavily on Franklin’s opinion. Further, when things didn’t work out with the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Todd also leaned on Franklin’s advice regarding junior colleges, eventually landing at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. The two teams in the running for Todd’s services this season were Troy (where Franklin formerly coached) and Auburn (where he currently coaches).

You get the picture.

So here’s the question: Is it possible that Todd could usurp the job from Burns? Definitely.

Todd, a former three-star recruit, is a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds. Burns is a 6-2, 199-pounder (onetime four-star recruit) who came in last season in relief of Brandon Cox, to perform well in a limited role. In fact, he rushed for 203 yards and provided a spark both during the regular season and in the bowl game victory over Clemson, even if he only managed to complete 10 of 26 passes on the year.

Still, Burns simply doesn’t know Franklin’s version of the spread offense nearly as well as Todd does; nor does Franklin know Burns as well as he knows Todd. In addition, Franklin noted that Todd was the more accurate passer this past Sunday during spring ball.

In the end, it’s clear that Burns has the athletic edge in this competition while Todd has the knowledge of the offense and passing accuracy edge, all of which are important in the new offense. Of course, Franklin plans on starting the quarterback most able to help the Tigers win. Who that is right now is anyone’s call.

Things were looking a lot better for Burns back in January then they are now. This competition seems pretty even right now.

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