The history of major college recruiting provides a loooooooooong list of prospects who at one point or another sounded like they were in love with one program only to sign with another.
Valor Christian offensive lineman Alex Kozan might be one of those players when it's all said and done, but it sure doesn't sound like it at this point. If there was ever a prospect who seemed more in love with the Colorado program, we can't remember him.
"I'd say under (Dan) Hawkins, I wasn't too sure what it was going to be like, but when (Jon) Embree came in, I went up there and met with coach (Steve) Marshall, the offensive line coach and he really seems to know what he's doing," Kozan said. "He's put guys in the NFL. He really seems to know what he's doing. He has coached in the league. Coach Embree really seems like he is going to have a lot of success at Colorado in my opinion because the No. 1 thing he preached to me is you've got to have a plan to get where you want to go. That's how I have lived my life.
"That's why I think he is going to be successful because everything he has planned out. I'd say I'm very optimistic about them. I'm not sure how they will do necessarily this year, but I'd say you give them one full year to get a full recruiting class, you're going to get one of the top classes in the country in my opinion. I mean, I've visited other colleges and there is a different energy at CU I'd say. It's definitely a little more amped and excited and ready to go. You can sense it from the coaching staff."
Kozan says he has four offers from Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State and Kansas State and he hears from other colleges as well. He says he is expecting to make a decision by late July or early August because he wants to focus all his attention during the season on his high school team. He said if there is any confusion in the summer, then he will put off a decision until after his season ends.
"I wouldn't say I have a favorite right now," Kozan said. "I'm just trying to learn more about each and every school. I think in the middle of the summer, I'll really start evaluating more and getting down to a top-10, top-five. Right now I'm just trying to take it all in. Take in all the information I can find, all the advantages and disadvantages and then base it off that.
"You don't want to exclude anybody when they might be the school that is best for you."
Kozan said he doesn't have plans to attend any more junior days. He says those events have a "meat market" feel to them and he prefers making unofficial visits to campuses when he can have some one-on-one time with coaches. He said unofficial visits provide a much more realistic perspective of what the program is truly like.
Kozan said earning a college scholarship to play football has been a goal of his since 5th grade.
"Every time I squat, bench, clean, run or whatever, I'm just saying, 'Am I getting better than some guy across the nation who is going to try to go to the same school as me?' he said. "It's definitely hard work that has paid off, but at the same time, it's not done yet."
So what are the characteristics of right fit for Kozan?
"For me, it comes down to three things really," Kozan said. "What kind of education am I going to get at the school? What is my relationship with the offensive line coach and the rest of the coaching staff? How do I get along with them? And how soon will I be able to see the field and how competitive is the team going to be. I'd say those things are pretty much the main things that I look at."
Kozan plays in a program where a handful of his former teammates received varying levels of recruiting attention. He has watched with interest as players such as Brock Berglund and George Talanoa went through the process and he has learned from them.
"From Brock I really saw that it's not really about getting as many offers as you can. It's really finding the right schools," Kozan said. "Another thing I learned from Brock is that ever since he was a freshman, he wanted to go to UCLA. He got offered by them, but he figured out, 'It's not going to be the best place for me.' So just because you have a school built up in your head in one way, it might not be necessarily the best place for you."