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Tennessee receiver’s coach Kodi Burns is leaving Knoxville for the same position with the New Orleans Saints, ESPN’s Pete Thamel first reported Monday morning.
Before his one-year in Knoxville, Burns spent five seasons as the receiver’s coach at his alma mater, Auburn. The Arkansas native starred on the Plaines from 2007 to 2010.
In New Orleans, Burns will join former Vols Alvin Kamara, Shy Tuttle and receiver Marquez Callaway. Callaway had a breakout second NFL season, leading New Orleans with 698 receiving yards while adding six touchdowns.
It had been a quiet offseason for the Tennessee football program and it looked like Josh Heupel would return his entire inaugural staff for a second season.
The Vols’ receivers had breakout 2021 seasons after the arrival of Heupel and Burns. Cedric Tillman went from three catches for 67 yards and a touchdown in 2020 to 64 receptions for 1,081 yards and 12 touchdowns last fall.
Velus Jones Jr. went from 280 yards and three touchdowns to 807 yards and eight touchdowns while Mississippi State transfer JaVonta Payton also boasted a career season.