War Eagle Extra

Gus Malzahn: OL Alex Kozan, DE Carl Lawson 'got a lot of work' Saturday

AUBURN, Ala. — An ongoing storyline for Auburn this spring has centered around the health of two expected starters: offensive lineman Alex Kozan and defensive end Carl Lawson.

Kozan, who started every game at left guard in 2013, sat out last season after having surgery on his back. Lawson also missed the entire 2014 campaign as he worked his way back from tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

After sitting out last week's scrimmage — the first of the spring — both saw plenty of time Saturday ... except in one aspect.

"They did all the stuff but the actual scrimmage," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said in a post-practice interview. "They got most of the reps in the third down, they got most of the reps in the two-minute situations on both sides, so they got a lot of work with that. We also did a little 7-on-7 to start out, too, and a little 1-on-1 pass rush — you know, O-line, D-line, probably the first five minutes."

When it came to Kozan specifically, Malzahn said the coaching staff grows more confident by the day that the Colorado native will be ready to go this fall.

"It looks that way. I mean, he's done all the thud stuff," Malzahn said. "We hadn't done anything into the live stuff, but he's been banged around a little bit, and he came off the ball enough. We're pleased with where he's at right now. It's very encouraging."