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February 27, 2012

Kozan talks decision, future at AU

Valor Christian (Castle Rock, Colo.) four-star offensive lineman Alex Kozan signed with Auburn on Monday, but the nation's No. 12 guard knew he would be a Tiger a day before.

"I thought about it over the weekend and Sunday is when I really knew it was going to be Auburn," said Kozan.

Kozan, 6-foot-4, 295 pounds, narrowed his choices to Auburn and Michigan before signing with the Tigers. He was one of the last 2012 prospects to sign a letter of intent. National Signing Day was Feb. 1.

There was a good reason for Kozan's delay.

"I wasn't sure about my decision," he said. "And it was one I didn't want to make unless I was completely sure about it."

Kozan said he was still uncertain of his college choice as recent as last week.

"It was really, really close between Auburn and Michigan," he said. "A couple of days before, I thought I was going to Michigan, but I prayed on it and kept feeling led to Auburn. I just felt like Auburn was the best fit for me academically, athletically and spiritually. I felt like Auburn is the best fit for me overall.

"I really like the coaching staff there. I think they have a great staff in place that will allow me to be successful on and off the field, and they have great support system there to help me."

Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes recruited Kozan for Auburn. The Tigers' fourth-year coach was a big factor in Kozan choosing Auburn.

"Coach Grimes was definitely big. I have a really good relationship with him," said Kozan. "He was very excited when I told him."

Kozan said he informed Grimes and head coach Gene Chizik of his decision Monday morning.

"They were pretty pumped," he said. "It was a good experience. They were happy. They wanted me to get down there, ... were excited I was going to play for them."

Kozan is Auburn's 22nd signee in the 2012 class, a group that includes fullback transfer Jay Prosch. The Tigers' class ranks No. 10 in Rivals.com's team rankings, the third consecutive year Auburn has finished with a top 10 recruiting class. With the addition of Kozan, the Tigers also finished with the nation's No. 2 offensive line class.

"There is a bright future at Auburn with what is already there with Greg Robinson, Reese Dismukes, Christian Westerman and a lot of other guys, plus what we have coming in this class," said Kozan. "We have a lot of great players, a lot of great talent and I'm excited to get down there and compete.

"It will be nice having a great young group there helping you out for the next four years. I'm definitely excited about that."

Rivals.com ranks Kozan the No. 1 guard prospect in Colorado and the No. 5 overall prospect from the state. Auburn also signed Shane Callahan in the 2012 class. Callahan is ranked Colorado's No. 5 overall recruit.

"I think going to Auburn is a great decision," said Kozan. "I'm really excited about it. It feels great to be a Tiger."


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