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Kodi Burns among new graduates

AUBURN – Wide receiver Kodi Burns, one of the more popular players in recent Auburn history, officially became an Auburn alumnus on Monday.

Kodi Burns was one of five former Auburn football players who graduated on Monday.

Burns won the hearts of Auburn fans in 2009. When Auburn coaches decided Chris Todd had beaten out Burns for the startign quarterback job, Burns stood in front ofhis teammates and told them to get behind Todd. He then moved to wide receiver.

Burns, who caught a touchdown pass in Auburn's 22-19 victory over Oregon in the BCS Championship Game, was one of five former Auburn football players who walked across the stage at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The crowd gave Burns a standing ovation when he received his degree. Counting 12 players who played as graduates, 17 players from Auburn's 2010 national champions have earned their degrees.

Kodi Burns, Neil Caudle, Wade Christopher, Adam Herring and Derek Winter were among 52 Auburn athletes on whom university president Jay Gogue bestowed degrees Monday.

The graduates represent 17 of Auburn’s sport programs, including seven from men’s swimming and diving;, six from baseball; five each from football and women’s track and field; four from equestrian and men’s track and field; three from women’s tennis and volleyball; two each from softball, women’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis, women’s golf, gymnastics; and one each from soccer; men’s basketball and women’s basketball.

The seven men’s swimming and diving graduates include Gideon Louw (South Africa), Kyle Maese (Portland, Ore.), Kelly Marx (Overland Park, Kan.), Tyler McGill (Champaign, Ill.), Andrew Mitchell (Nashville, Tenn.), Michael Silva (Tampa, Fla.) and Pascal Wollach (Calgary, Alberta, Canada).

The six from baseball are Justin Hargett (Hartselle, Ala.), Michael Hurst (Vestavia Hills, Ala.), Jon Luke Jacobs (Gainestown, Ala.), Christopher O’Neil (Birmingham, Ala.), Kevin Patterson (Birmingham, Ala.) and Sean Ray (Virginia Beach, Va.).

The five graduates from football are Kodi Burns (Fort Smith, Ark.), Neil Caudle (Hoover, Ala.), Wade Christopher (Vestavia Hills, Ala.), Adam Herring (Springdale, Ark.) and Derek Winter (Tampa, Fla.).

The five from women’s track and field are Erika Akins (Madison, Ala.), Miriam Arusei (Eldoret, Kenya), Brittany Mattrella (Hoover, Ala.), Allison Smith (Mobile, Ala.) and Laurel Pritchard Novack (Vestavia Hills, Ala.).

The four from men’s track and field are Michael Dehaven (Tyrone, Ga.), Stephen Fly (Memphis, Tenn.), Nicholas Green (Atlanta, Ga.) and Joseph Peake (Macon, Ga.).

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