It's Early, But Kodi's Out Ahead

By Adam Caparell - March 04, 2008


Auburn needs a new quarterback and Kodi Burns was the logical choice to replace Brandon Cox as the Tigers starter with spring practice starting last week. But heading in, new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin wasn't about to give anyone an edge. Yet after a few practices, and one scrimmage over the weekend, it sounds like he's singing a different tune.

"Kodi has an edge because he's dynamic with the ball and he can do so many more things that (sophomore) Neal (Caudle) can't do," Franklin told the Montgomery Advertiser. "I try to figure out who can win. Grades are nice. Sometimes, it helps you to see that somebody played better than you thought. Still, a grade is not going to decide who wins the quarterback job."

Burns has all the tools needed to run Franklin's spread offense - he showed that in the Chick-fil-A Bowl win - but the winner of the starting job will be whoever makes the least mistakes. And so far through Auburn's first week of practice, Burns has taken care of the ball better than the Tigers other three candidates.

Georgia: Lost in the Knowshon Moreno hype is Caleb King who should a larger role in the Bulldogs offense than people probably realize right now.

King, who red-shirted last year, will serve as Georgia's No. 2 option in the backfield heading into the season, but expect to see a good amount of the former highly-touted recruit this fall. He's not a big back - just like Moreno - but he's added some significant weight since arriving on campus and nearly topped Tom Lemming's Top 100 list back in 2006. He was No. 2 behind Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen.

Not that you put a whole lot of stock in such early valuations, but after Georgia's first practice Monday coach Mark Richt was happy with what he saw out of King and also quarterback Matthew Stafford whose success at quarterback will determine whether the Bulldogs are serious national title contenders - as just about everyone thinks they are. The biggest thing Stafford needs to work on? Completion percentage. He connected on just 55 percent of his passes last season.

LSU: Tigers fans are buzzing over the reported early verbal commitment of Russell Shepard, a highly regarded dual threat quarterback, because there isn't much news to come out of the Tigers first practice.

Ryan Perrilloux is still suspended meaning Harvard transfer Andrew Hatch and red-shirt freshman Jarrett Lee will be taking turns as the Tigers No. 1 quarterback over the spring.

"Both Andrew and Jarrett did a nice job," coach Les Miles said. "Right now for those two it's about getting comfortable under center, in the huddle and getting adjusted to a new role on the team."

Texas: The biggest news to come out ot Austin so far this spring? It just may be that Mack Brown - or at least his wife - is on the Barack Obama bandwagon. Sally Brown donated $750 to the presidential candidate who has been campaigning heavily in Texas, leading up to today's primary.

Obama actually visited with the Texas players a few weeks back, mingling with Brown and Earl Campbell's Heisman Trophy.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 10:30 AM on March 04, 2008
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