October 29, 2013

Homeward bound


AUBURN | It's a big week for a big portion of the Tigers' coaching staff.

Gus Malzahn, of course, played at Arkansas, coached at Arkansas, built his reputation as a high-school coach in and around the Natural State. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee played quarterback at Arkansas. Assistant coach Tim Horton played wideout for the Razorbacks and coached with them -- as recently as last season. Offensive line coach J.B. Grimes is an Arkansas native who spent two stints as a Razorbacks assistant.

Graduate assistant Kodi Burns? You know that story.

"We know how much it means to all of them as a whole," tight end C.J. Uzomah said. "They'll give their best effort this week in practice and preparation. So will we."

What kind of reception will Malzahn receive this weekend when his Tigers play in Razorback Stadium?

It should be mostly positive. He was enshrined into the Arkansas Coaches Hall of Fame last summer, spent the final decade of his high-school career coaching a few miles north of Fayetteville.

Malzahn isn't one to instigate controversy or fuel controversy started elsewhere. He's a private man who rarely speaks candidly with anyone outside his inner circle.

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