Player Spotlight: Alex Kozan

Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, just opened its doors in 2007 and has already won two state championships in football, the first coming at 3A in '09 and at 4A in 2010. Alex Kozan was a starting offensive tackle on both of those teams and is ready to win another in his final year at the school.

"My goal for my senior season is to dominate," said Alex Kozan. "I want to be the best offensive lineman in the state of Colorado. Every single game I want to command the line of scrimmage and do everything in my power to help this team win. Last year we went 11-3. With the talent we have with college-bound players and guys who can flat out bring it, I think we can go 14-0 and win another state championship."

The Valor Christian Eagles will have 16 returning starters back from last year's team with the notable exception of quarterback Brock Berglund who signed with Kansas in February. It was close to that time when Kozan received his first offer.

"Arizona State was the first team to offer me and then other offers started rolling in soon after," Kozan said. "I'm up to 13 offers right now. I've been trying to make some campus trips. The last one I went to was Nebraska, and I was at Colorado's spring game. I'm going to the two Arizona schools in June."

Kozan, 6-4, 295, was named 1st team All-State (4A), 1st team All-Conference, and 1st team All-Academic as a junior. It was his third season as a starter. He played right tackle in his first two, but moved over to left tackle last season. Valor Christian moved up from 3A to 4A, but still duplicated its feat of state champion by defeating Wheat Ridge 38-8 at Invesco Field in Denver.

"It was a great year getting to play with so many talented players," Kozan said. "I think I improved. I played smart, kept my mistakes down, and stuck my assignments. I got good bursts off the ball and used my physicality on every play. The team really bonded and became close friends off the field. We cared about each other and formed a brotherhood."

Now Kozan is competing in track & field and enjoying the recruiting process. He says he has narrowed his list down to 15 schools made up of ones who've offered and not offered.

"First thing I like to see in a program are good academics," Kozan said. "That's most important to me because football isn't forever. I want to earn a good degree that will open doors for me after I'm finished my playing career. I want to major in Business, so I'm looking at colleges with top Business schools.

"Second, I'd like to go to a competitive team who's winning and competing for conference championships and BCS bowl games. Also, I'd like to go somewhere I'll have a chance to compete for early playing time. Third would be the relationship I have with the coaches. I want to play for a coach who can be a teacher, but chew me out if need be.

"On my visits I like to see who the strength and conditioning coach is because that's most important in the off-season. I like to talk to my position coach, but I want to talk to the head coach. He's the leader of the team, and I want to see how I connect with him.

"Right now I'm just taking everything in. I'm hoping to make my decision by August, but I may wait to take my official visits to get a better idea of each school."

Soon after his first offer from Arizona State in February, Kozan took a visit to Manhattan, Kansas. He came back with an offer and impressed with what he saw.

"It's a great program," Kozan said of K-State. "I just talked with Coach Snyder and Coach (Charlie) Dickey tonight. They're the nicest, most caring coaches around. I really liked their strength coach, the stadium, and the atmosphere. They were down for awhile, but they're back with Coach Snyder. I think they have a bright future ahead. It's definitely a school I'm looking closely at."

An excellent student, Kozan reports a 3.8 GPA and a 27 on the ACT. In track & field he has a 45 feet best in the shot put and a 150 feet best in the discus. Kozan is the oldest of three brothers. His younger brother, Sam, will be a freshman at Valor Christian this fall on JV. Alex Kozan wears No. 75 for Eagles.

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