SDS talent evaluators Jon Cooper and Brad Crawford spent several months breaking down last year’s highlights, incoming talent and projected 2014 impact following spring practice to compile a list of the SEC’s Top 100 players heading into fall. Athletes were selected by position then ranked overall counting down to No. 1.

Stick with SDS throughout summer and get in on the action using the hashtag #SDSTop100 as we unveil a new player daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.

36. Alex Kozan, RS-Soph., OL, Auburn

The Tigers’ versatile left guard helped anchor the nation’s top rushing offense last season alongside first-round pick Greg Robinson and returning all-conference center Reese Dismukes. A third-year player out of Castle Rock, Colo., Kozan started every game as a redshirt-freshman and earned a spot on the All-SEC freshman team for his efforts.

Kozan, Dismukes and Auburn defensive tackle Gabe Wright are Outland Trophy watch list nominees. At SEC Media Days in Hoover, Kozan was a preseason all-league second team selection with 112 votes — the same number as LSU’s Vadal Alexander who has also appeared in our Top 100. Kozan’s emergence as a dependable blocker and ability to hold his job during the spring means the Tigers will have four starters along the offensive line with at least 12 career starts when they open the season against Arkansas.

Absorbing the loss of Robinson shouldn’t be a problem for what promises to be one of the Western Division’s strongest units.

2013 statistics: Started every game at left guard, freshman All-SEC
2014 projection: One of Auburn’s stalwarts up front who provides the Tigers with stability up the middle.