For Auburn, that man is Kodi Burns.
He will go down as one of the biggest cult heroes in Auburn's history. His story is an interesting one thats for sure, and even though his plans didn't work out the way he wanted them too when he got to Auburn, I have a feeling he just doesn't care. Heck, he's a National Champion.
Kodi came to Auburn under Tommy Tuberville in 2007, playing as a backup to Brandon Cox. He got a good percentage of the reps, and his most prized moments his freshman year was the runs agains Florida and Clemson. Fans were already deeming him the next star after what an "average" Brandon Cox graduated.
No one could predict how his Auburn career would end.
As a sophomore going into 2008, Burns and Todd were playing hop scotch with the Quarterback spot, but the season ended with Burns as the starter. He endured a miserable year at quarterback on a miserable team. He ended the season with 1050 yards and 2 passing touchdowns, as well as 411 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns.
At the end of the season Tuberville was fired, Chizik came in and started the Quarterback race between Kodi, Caudle, Trotter, Rollison and Todd. Chris Todd was considered the best so he was given the starting job over Kodi Burns. Burns was then converted to Wide Reciever, and you didn't hear any complaints from him. He accepted the role and embraced it.
Enter 2010, which is considered maybe the greatest season in Auburn's history. He had 177 receiving yards for one crucial touchdown, which came against Oregon in the BCS National title game. The statistics do not do Kodi justice, all year he made some great catches for crucial yardage. As a quarterback converted to Wide Receiver you could say his career wasn't too shabby.
Kodi finishes his Auburn career as a legend, not for his production but for his team mind-set which is rare these days. As a top ranked Quarterback you don't dream about being changed to a Wide Receiver whilst another Quarterback comes in and takes your reps. One thing people forget, is that he easily could have decided to try out at Quarterback elsewhere. If he did transfer, we wouldn't have a crystal football in our trophy case.
Kodi did what was best for him, the team and the program as a whole. He has helped this program excel to greatness and he did it with no complaints and selfish acts. Maybe he didn't turn out to be the next great Auburn Quarterback we all expected him to be in 2007, but he has embraced the team and has taken up a new role which most players wouldn't have done. He hasn't ran away from his problems, he stuck it out like a man and for me that says something about the type of man he is. As I write this I am getting a tad emotional, just thinking about what he has been through and how he has turned his career around. He is a better man for it.
I hope whatever profession you go into will treat you well Kodi, the past 4 years has been a roller coaster for you and there's no doubt that your selfless acts has made the team as a whole more close and compact.
Kodi Burns is how you define an "Auburn Man"