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Kozan Out For Season, Marshall and Mincy Will Not Start Opener

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Some details about Friday's practice and player updates

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

In case you haven't already seen it elsewhere, there was some pretty big news out of practice and Gus Malzahn's post-practice press conference. The first bit involved tweets by the various media who are able to attend practices (or at least the first 20-30 minutes of it) about the starting offensive line rotation. Conspicuously missing was Alex Kozan. If you've been reading the various Auburn message boards for the past few days, then you were probably already aware of the rumors about him. Those have now been confirmed. Kozan had to have back surgery due to an injury he sustained at home and will miss the 2014 football season.

First, I want to wish Alex the best in his recovery. I hope this is nothing TOO serious and that he's able to return next season. He was an outstanding player on the offensive line for us last year and he will be sorely missed. It's worth noting that even with the loss of Kozan Auburn returns a group of offensive linemen that is in the top 25 in the country in terms of number of combined starts. The likely initial starting offensive line for the Arkansas game will probably be Coleman, Slade, Dismukes, Young, and Miller. Don't rule out freshman Braden Smith working his way into the mix, though. And if all else fails (which is highly unlikely), Dismukes could possibly slide over to one of the Guard spots and Xavier Dampeer could play Center.

The other big news was that neither Nick Marshall nor Jonathon Mincy will start the opening game against Arkansas. Gus did emphasize that both are without a doubt the starters at their positions, but this does mean that Gus will once again have a brand new starter in the opening game of a college football season. The al.com article does say that Marshall will play in the opener, though. It is unclear exactly how much of the game he and Mincy will miss.

Outside of these the big news was the release of the updated roster with bios and numbers for the newcomers. The complete roster can be found at the official Auburn football site. In order of numbers, the newcomers were given (or chose) the following:

Roc Thomas 9
Markell Boston 11
Stephen Roberts 14
Nick Ruffin 19
Tre' Williams 30
Jakell Mitchell 31
Joe Turner 35
Kemryn Pettway 36
Tray Matthews 39
Kalvaraz Bessent 41
Deshaun Davis 57
Raashed Kennion 59
Braden Smith 71
Austin Golson 73
Andrew Williams 79
Myron Burton 84
DaVonte Lambert 86
Justin Thornton 92
Devaroe Lawrence 94
Donatavius Russell 95

And that's about it for big news out of the first practice session. We've gotten confirmed word on Kozan and we know a lot more about Marshall and Mincy's punishments. Now that those things are out of the way, hopefully the discussion from here up until the opener against Arkansas revolves around actual football stuff and we can leave the bad things behind.

Football is back, y'all. War Eagle.