July 5, 2011
Four star OL looking for more with the Buckeyes
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Last week's Ohio State camps had some major talent from around the nation and one of the top prospects from outside the state of Ohio was Castle Rock (Colo.) Valor Christian offensive tackle Alex Kozan. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound prospect is the 226nd ranked player in the nation by Rivals.com. Kozan took home offensive line MVP of the one-day senior camp and has caught the attention of the Ohio State staff.
"I've got 21 offers right now from all over," Kozan said. "LSU, Oregon, and Iowa are probably the biggest ones. Right now, I'm in the process of narrowing it down. I'm only talking to about two or three other schools (that haven't offered) and Ohio State is one of those. "
Though the Buckeyes haven't offered yet, the staff may be close to extending an offer to the big lineman. If that were to happen, the Buckeyes would sit in great shape to land the Rivals250 prospect.
"They would definitely be in the top seven," he said. "It would be hard not to commit on the spot for me because Ohio State has always kind of been there. I know they have a great business school; Fisher College of Business is in the top ten. I want to look at my options more but Ohio State would be really hard to turn down. They would definitely be in the top seven and the only other school right now that would also be in the top seven is Iowa."
Kozan recently called offensive line coach Jim Bollman to check on just where he stands with the coaching staff.
"They told me that they're pretty interested in me," he said. "Coach Bollman said he was going to my watch my film to see if they were going to offer me. I figured I would give him a call last week and he told me that he liked my film a lot and that he watched it like three times but he wasn't sure if they were going to offer or not. He wanted to talk to the rest of the staff first and then he would tell me what they're thinking so that's kind of where we're at with me and Ohio State."
Despite living hundreds of miles away from Columbus, Kozan feels like he has a strong connection to the university as a whole.
"My connection to Ohio State is a lot of things," he said. "My Mom and my Grandma went there. One of my coaches at our high school staff down here played at Ohio State and he actually played for one of their assistant coaches, Dick Tressel, used to be his high school coach. I was born in Cincinnati, I have family and friends in Columbus and more family in southeastern Ohio. I was kind of raised a Buckeye and it's kind of been a team that I've always followed as a kid."
While the Ohio State coaching staff certainly seems interested in Kozan, it didn't always seem that way which is one of the main reasons that Kozan decided to make the long trip to Columbus for camp.
"As far as them recruiting me, they really didn't (early in the process)," he explained. "I sent them my film and I called them all of the time but didn't get to talk to a coach or anything so I figured I would just go to camp and at least put myself in front of them and see if they would be interested at all."
The trip to campus wasn't Kozan's first, however after making some unofficial visits he now has something to measure Ohio State up against
"I've been to Ohio State football camps like three times so I had seen the facilities before," he explained. "I had gone on some unofficial visits since I was last there so it was interesting to be able to compare it. The weight room is really cool and the indoor facility is really nice, I've only ever seen that at LSU so that was cool. The facilities are really nice and some of the nicest I've seen and obviously The Shoe is ridiculous on game day so it was good to see the facility and meeting coach Bollman was cool, he seems like a pretty decent guy."
The camp also gave Kozan a chance to interact with head coach Luke Fickell for the first time.
"Meeting coach Fickell was cool, he seems like a really down to earth guy," Kozan said. "I think he wants to keep that job and he wants Ohio State to be number one every year."
With over more than 20 offers, Kozan is in the process of narrowing his list down before his high school season officially kicks off.
"I'm looking to narrow my list the first week of August to about seven schools," he explained. "I'm thinking about taking five officials but I think I'll have a better idea after taking two or three and I might be able to (make a decision) by the middle of October."
Kozan has certainly done his due diligence on the recruiting process and says he knows all of the factors that he will consider when the time comes to make his choice.
"When I researched and thought about this process, there's five things that I'm going to look at," he said. "The first thing like I said is probably the business school. I won't get too into the rankings but obviously a top ten business school is pretty impressive considering there are 1,500 colleges out there in the United States with business programs. Number two would be a chance at success, it's probably going to be a place where I feel I can win championships. Number three is kind of my relationships with the coaches, just being with coaches that I want to play for. Number four is a place with a good strength and conditioning program. Strength and conditioning is a big part of my game and that's how I get better. Number five, I have a strong faith in God and I want to go to a place where great Christian values are alive. I'd like to be around other guys that have faith."
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