Fort Smith (Ark.) Northside quarterback Kodi Burns is heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to dazzle the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl crowd and the national television audience with his playmaking ability under center. While known more for his scrambling ability, Burns can also sit back in the pocket and exploit a defense with precise throws.
"They are going to see a quarterback, not an athlete," Burns said. "That's what I feel I am, a quarterback with good arm strength and the ability to get the ball to my playmakers. At the same time, I do run a sub-4.5 40 and I feel like I can escape pressure. I am a good passer, but at the same time I can run."
Five facts about Kodi Burns
• Burns also plays basketball and runs track.
• He admires former president Bill Clinton, an Arkansas native.
• He hopes to someday obtain his doctorate in philosophy.
• One of his hobbies is cooking.
• Committed to Auburn over the in-state Arkansas Razorbacks.
Burns, who is rated as the nation's No. 9 dual-threat quarterback prospect, is excited about being a part of the inaugural game, which will kick off at 5 p.m. Jan. 4 on ESPNU. He will play quarterback for the West squad.
"I feel like I am privileged to be selected for the game," Burns said. "I feel privileged and that I worked hard and that I deserve to play in it."
The news about his selection to the game isn't the only big announcement surrounding the Natural State's third-ranked overall prospect. He made his college decision on Monday, giving a verbal commitment to Auburn. While he likely is the only Auburn-bound prospect on the West squad, there are additional Auburn commits and targets playing in the game. Those with potential ties to the Tigers include: Bailey Woods (commit), running back Enrique Davis (commit), kicker Wes Byrum (commit) and in-state Alabama prospects Sidell Corley, Kerry Murphy and Michael McNeil.
"It feels pretty good (to play with the other Auburn commits)," Burns said. "I see that and that Auburn has a pretty good recruiting class. I know that I am really looking forward to that, to getting down there and spending time with those guys and getting to know them."
As a senior, Burns completed 127 of 231 passes for 1,903 yards and 21 touchdowns with seven interceptions. On the ground, he rushed for 726 yards and 13 touchdowns.
In 2005, Burns threw for 2,182 yards and 20 touchdowns, and ran for 965 yards and 11 more scores. He also holds a 3.2 grade-point average and plans to major in human exercise and kinesiology in college.
Though his individual play was stellar, his team didn't have such a great year on the field.
"We started off 3-0," he said. "We were preseason No. 1 in the state by Sports Illustrated. Somewhere in there, it fell apart and we finished 2-5 in the conference. But at some point, we look back over the last couple of years and realize what we've done."
Burns is rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and had scholarship offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Kansas and Kansas State. Burns also drew attention from Oklahoma before committing to the Tigers.