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Caring Is Creepy 2012: Have a Seat, Alex Kozan

Four-star recruits generally don't land at Iowa after the start of a new year. For whatever reason (gameday visits, general mentality of "Iowa guys"), until yesterday, Iowa's top-rated recruits commit during the fall. In fact, until yesterday, Iowa had gone five years since landing a four-star commitment in January or February (Cedric Everson).

Until yesterday. Late last night, Iowa landed the commitment of Alex Kozan, offensive guard out of Castle Rock, Colorado. Kozan (4* Rivals, 4* ESPN, 3* Scout, 3* 24/7) chose Iowa over Michigan and Auburn; he also held offers from a long list of BCS programs, including Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, South Carolina, and most of the rest of the Big 12 and Pac-12. He's already 6'4" and 295 pounds, and is a definite interior lineman despite playing tackle in high school.

Kozan's commitment not only comes at a time when Iowa usually doesn't get players of his caliber, but also from a region where Iowa doesn't usually go. In fact, Kozan is Iowa's first four-star commitment from west of the Great Plains during the Kirk Ferentz era, and the first non-JUCO commitment from the American West since Casey McMillan in 2008 (I say "American West" because Johnny Mullings is here from the Outback, which I suppose is west of everything). Reese Morgan, who is usually deployed in Iowa and eastern Nebraska but didn't have much to do this year once Amara Darboh had rejected Iowa, was the primary recruiter here. This had a dual effect: It gave Iowa the advantage of having one of its best recruiters dedicated almost exclusively to Kozan (and fellow Coloradan Joey O'Connor) down the stretch, and it put Kozan in direct and constant contact with his eventual position coach. It was Iowa putting its best foot forward in every conceivable way, and it worked despite all historical evidence to the contrary. It's a huge commitment for this class (now with more four-star prospects than any class since 2007) and a much-needed win for the coaching staff in a month of bad news.