Lineman has UA near top

Colorado lineman Alex Kozan recently visited Arizona and came away impressed. In fact, it seems that the Wildcats have now appeared near the top of his list.

This past week, Alex Kozan's father brought him back to his old stomping grounds to give his son a look around Tucson as well as the University of Arizona. The younger Kozan, now a three-star offensive guard from Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian High School, left Arizona with a favorable impression of his old man's town as well as the UA football program.

"It's a really nice place, that's where my dad grew up," Kozan said. "Tucson is a great city, there's a lot of great things there. It seems like a great college town, and I liked the vibe at UA."

With his visit to Arizona, Kozan continues to explore his options as his junior year comes to a close.

"Right now I'm just in the exploratory phase and I'm trying to see what's out there and see what the best options are for me," Kozan said. "I'm seeing what my options are, and based on what opportunities open up, I'm going to make the best decision for me.

"I'm at 14 offers, and my newest two are Wake Forest and Vanderbilt. Right now probably Iowa, Arkansas, Arizona State, and UA are recruiting me pretty hard."

While on campus, the 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive guard in the class of 2012 was able to get acquainted with Mike Stoops, and had nothing but good things to say about UA's head coach.

"My favorite part I would say was meeting coach Stoops," Kozan said. "He was a really nice coach, he was down to earth. He was really straightforward with me and told me how it is. He wasn't trying to mess around or lie to me or anything like that. I could tell he was an honest guy, which I appreciated."

For Arizona, its two new coaches are leading the recruiting effort for Kozan's services, as Ryan Walters and Robert Anae are doing their part to build a relationship and land a commitment from the offensive lineman.

"With Coach Walters, I'm just trying to build a relationship and I'm trying to get to know him more," Kozan said. "He stopped by our school and I got to say hi to him and talk for a little bit He went to high school in Colorado, so that's a thing we share that's pretty cool. He told me we Colorado guys have to support each other.

"Coach Anae, he seems like a Class A person. He has very high character and it seems like he expects the most out of his offensive linemen both as a player and a person. On and off the field, in every aspect of your life, he wants you to be the best person you can be."

After wrapping up his visit, the Wildcats have put themselves in a favorable position in Kozan's recruitment as it continues to unfold.

"Arizona is right near the top," Kozan said. "I really like their program and I think I have an opportunity to be a major contributor on that team. I liked their strength and conditioning program. I liked a lot of things I saw there."

As he continues to explore his options, that process should be made much easier considering how well he has organized his priorities.

"There are four things I'm looking for," Kozan said. "Number one is academics and how good the school's business program is, that's what I'm looking to study in college. Number two is the competitiveness I see there. How competitive the team is, if I could see myself playing there and if I could see myself starting there early in my career.

"Number three would be the relationship with the coaching staff, whether it's a coaching staff I want to play for and coaches I like. Number four would be the strength and conditioning program."

Even without a public leader, Kozan indicated that he may be able to make a decision on his future school sooner rather than later.

"I'd say I'll decide late summer, although it really depends," Kozan said. "If the right school comes out and it's the perfect fit for me, then I'll commit. If that doesn't happen, I'm thinking late summer. But if it doesn't happen by then I'm not going to force my way into it.

"I may take a couple official visits to see some of these schools. It's harder for me to get out to in order to get a better feel and learn more about each school."

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