Kozan likes CU's direction

While other top in-state linemen look elsewhere, Valor Christian senior still considering Colorado

So far, the best offensive line recruits in Colorado have decided the grass is greener elsewhere.

Windsor's Joey O'Connor has committed to Penn State. Arvada West's Paul Thurston committed to Nebraska. Shane Callahan of Chaparral is on his way to Auburn and Arthur Flores of Mullen has given a commitment to San Diego State.

That leaves Alex Kozan, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound guard fro Valor Christian. A three-star recruit, he's the only top linemen that hasn't committed yet. And, he's still got Colorado very much on his radar.

"The thing it has going for it is that it's close to him," Kozan said on Thursday night. "It would be nice to have my parents at all my games."

Kozan said he has narrowed his list down to eight, including Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma State and Oregon.

"I'm just taking it day by day," he said. "I'm really doing my research, trying to find the best place for me."

Kozan said there are five things he's looking for in a school:

1. Education. He wants to major in business, so he's looking for a school with a top-notch business school.

2. Good relationship with coaches.

3. A competitive program. "(A program) where I'm going to be able to compete personally. Also a program where you can be competing for championships."

4. Strength and conditioning. He wants a school that has a track record of developing athletes and, in his case, top linemen.

5. Because of his strong faith in God, he wants a school with a good religious presence.

Kozan said Colorado fits the bill -- even at No. 3. The Buffs are just 1-5 and haven't had a winning season in years, but Kozan sees good things.

"I think it's only a matter of time before they get it going up there," he said. "They are struggling a little but, but besides that Stanford game, they've really come close in a lot of them.

"There's nothing too concerning."

Kozan said he also likes how CU is "giving opportunities for the linemen in their program."

It also doesn't hurt that CU has a long tradition of producing NFL linemen, including 2011 first-round draft choice Nate Solder and current senior Ryan Miller, who is projected as a 2012 draft choice.

Kozan said he has developed good relationships with CU head coach Jon Embree and line coach Steve Marshall. He is also impressed with strength coach Malcolm Blacken.

"It really seems he's turning around the program up there," he said. "I think he's going to do some good things up there."

Kozan, who has helped Valor Christian to the No. 1 ranking in Class 4A, is in no rush to make a decision, though.

He said he'll take all of his official visits. He's already visited Iowa and has a visit planned for Oregon this month. Most likely, CU will not be one of his official visits, but only because it is so close and he can make frequent unofficial visits (he's already been to two Buffs home games).

Whatever he decides, however, Kozan doesn't plan to take his decision down to the signing day wire in February.

"I just want to take my officials and really see every place and what they have to offer," he said. "I want to try to get it done by Christmas or if not, the first or second week in January."

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