AJ, C.J. National Award Semifinalists

Everyone who follows Alabama football should know that every college football award is not going to go to a Crimson Tide player. But that doesn't mean Bama won't have more of its share of players in contention.

There were two more "cuts" on the national awards scene Tuesday, and two Alabama stars – one on offense and one on defense -- are still alive for two of the more prestigious honors. Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron is one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award given to the college football player of the year. It is the second year McCarron had made the semifinals. Also selected for the second consecutive year is Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Also making the semifinals for the second consecutive year for a national award is Bama linebacker C.J. Mosley. He is one of 16 still in the running for the Bednarik Award, given to the nation's best defensive player. Also repeating in the semifinals is Oregon's Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Not on the list after being a finalist last year is South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Both awards are presented by the Maxwell Club of Philadelphia and both were won last year by Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o. McCarron has completed 145 of 209 passes (69.4 percent) for 1,862 yards, 16 touchdowns and three interceptions. McCarron is considered second tier for national awards by most pundits. In addition to Manziel, high-profile quarterbacks in the running for the Maxwell include Marcus Mariota of Oregon, Tajh Boyd of Clemson, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, and freshman sensation Jameis Winston of Florida State. The only other defensive player from the Southeastern Conference on the Bednarik list is Missouri defensive end Michael Sam. A four-year starter, Mosley leads the top-ranked Crimson Tide with 59 tackles and 5.5 tackles for a loss. He's also hurried quarterbacks on four occasions and broken up three passes.

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