Colorado Connection Competes for Playing Time

Freshmen offensive linemen Shane Callahan and Alex Kozan are featured in this Auburn football report.

Auburn, Ala.--A pair of freshmen from the state of Colorado are two of Auburn's large group of young linemen who have been competing for playing time this preseason.

Early enrollee Shane Callahan, whos 6-6, 292 pounds, arrived at Auburn in January from Chaparral High.

Alex Kozan, who is 6-4, 294 pounds, finished high school at Valor Christian in the spring and has been on the Auburn campus throughout the summer making the transition to college football.

Both players were star tackles in high school, but are currently lining up at different positions. "They just said be ready for anything," said Callahan, who played tackle in spring training, but is now taking snaps at center.

Shane Callahan is shown during a spring training practice.

Kozan, who waited a nearly month after signing day to choose the Tigers over Iowa and Michigan, figured he would be moving inside to guard.

"I've played guard in an all-star game, but besides that I've never played guard before," he said.

"In recruiting they told me I was going to be playing guard or backup center here," Kozan noted. "I pretty much knew I was going to be playing inside, especially when the guys in the recruiting class were all six-foot-six across from me."

Alex Kozan is shown in a preseason scrimmage.

Practicing at every position on the line for the Tigers, Callahan said it has been more difficult learning how to play at each than it was in high school where he focused solely on tackle.

"I'm just getting in there learning every day," Callahan said. "It's hard, it's at a different level, but you've just got to pull your hair back and go at it."

Alex Kozan

Kozan said the transition has been easier after working with some of the offensive linemen who were on last year's team during the voluntary summer workouts. He noted sophomores Reese Dismukes and Chad Slade helped him as did senior John Sullen.

Callahan and Kozan are two of seven 2012 signees who are competing for playing time on the offensive line. Callahan noted he feels really good about the highly-regarded group and points out they are all friends.

Shane Callahan

Auburn's head coach, Gene Chizik, said he likes the group, too. On Monday he noted that the starting spots are up for grabs on the offensive line, echoing a recent statement from position coach Jeff Grimes.

"Everyone is just fighting for a job," Callahan said. "Everyone is up there."

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