Mosley Is Getting What He Wanted
C.J. Mosley returned to Alabama for the award he will receive in a little over three weeks – his degree from The University.
Mosley is one of 16 seniors who will be recognized Saturday prior to the Crimson Tide's game against Chattanooga at Bryant-Denny Stadium. It will be his final game in Tuscaloosa. Kickoff Saturday is at 1 p.m. and the Seniors Day ceremony will take place shortly before kickoff.
Mosley said there was never a question about him returning, although he had been considered a sure high draft choice had he made himself available to the NFL following last season. He was Bama's leading tackler on a team that won a national championship, its second in a row. "I knew I was coming back," he said. "It wasn't really a big deal for me. I graduate December 14." ‘
On the football side, Mosley said at the end of last year, when he didn't play on every down, that he didn't think he was "fully developed." He added, "I think I've proven out well this year that I can play every down. It's helped me out a lot."
The 6-3, 238-pound Mobile native is the leader of the Crimson Tide's vaunted defense that ranks first nationally in scoring defense (10.2 ppg), third in rushing defense (91.1 ypg), third in first down defense (140), fifth in total defense (272.2), ninth in pass defense (181.7 ypg), and 13th pass efficiency defense (107.8).
Mosley is one of four finalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award and one of five for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. Missouri's Michael Sam is the only other finalist from the SEC.
The Nagurski Trophy is awarded by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club to the nation's top defensive football player. The Lombardi Award is presented by the Rotary Club of Houston and honors the nation's top interior lineman or linebacker.
Mosley leads the team with 81 tackles while recording 7.0 tackles for loss, five pass breakups and a team-high eight quarterback hurries. He has been the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for two straight weeks and is a nine-time Alabama Defensive Player of the Week.
Mosley doesn't let the possibility of individual awards change his attitude. "I'm pretty much a laid back guy," he said. "I try to stay humble about everything. I know I wouldn't be in the position I am now if it wasn't for the coaches and my teammates, so I am blessed to be in the situation. Hopefully we keep winning so I can get on that finalist list."
Mosley said, "This is my last year and I'm going all out. I'm not holding anything back. One of the big things about coming back, besides school, was to not have any regrets and to go all out for this last year."
Mosley said this year's Alabama defense ranks "up there with the rest of them. It's always something different about every team. You usually find out at the end of the year, so I couldn't say what makes us separate from our past defenses, but we're good at stopping the run, we have one of the top scoring defenses in the nation and we get to the ball. We haven't forced a lot of turnovers this year, but I feel like everybody's bought into what we have to do. That's what's made us successful in this long run."
Although Mosley said this year's defense is in the upper reaches of the great ones, he said he'd rate the 2011 national championship team as the best Tide defensive group he has played on.
Mosley said it has not yet sunk in that he will be playing his final Bryant-Denny Stadium game. He does remember arriving as an 18-year-old freshman and having to learn time management and "Growing up fast. You can go out every week, but I could see once I started playing that I had to separate myself from some of my other friends. That was a big change for me. I'm happy I got a lot of playing time my freshman year because that made me who I am now."
He gives credit to Coach Nick Saban for the process helping to mold the player.
"It's a hard defense, lot of stuff to learn," Mosley said. "I had to make my mistakes and take my bumps and bruises to get where I'm at...but growing up fast, that's what it's all about. He said the Alabama way will make you successful. I feel if you keep that process in life, the Alabama way -- being on time, having a high standard, doing what your supposed to do, being at the right place at the right time -- that's pretty much life right there."
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