The book on: C.J. Mosley

It is a known fact that Alabama's C.J. Mosley is the "honor student" in "Professor" Nick Saban's gridiron class. During his final season, he won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker.

C.J. Mosley

Inside/Outside Linebacker
University of Alabama Crimson Tide
Mobile, Alabama
Theodore High School


Since taking over the Tide program, Nick Saban has guided Alabama to three national championships. During his time at the helm, he has seen his players capture All-American honors 26 times, as Saban has compiled a 79-14 record (.849 winning percentage).

While Saban has never named favorites, it is a known fact that Mosley is the "honor student" in the football "professor's" gridiron class. The versatile linebacker became the fourth player under Saban to receive consensus All-American recognition in multiple seasons, as the senior class led by Mosley registered an .869 winning percentage (46-7) while securing for Saban back-to-back championships (2011-12).

Perhaps no award epitomizes the excellence at the linebacker position than the coveted Dick Butkus Award. The Butkus Award was formed in 1985 and is one of the elite individual honors in college football. Alabama has produced three Butkus Award recipients in its history. Derrick Thomas was named the recipient in 1988, followed by Rolando McClain in 2009 and Mosley in 2013.

Mosley became the 26th player in Southeastern Conference annals and the fourth in Tide history to twice earn consensus All-American honors. As a senior, he was not only a unanimous choice, but was also selected a finalist for the Lombardi and Bednarik Awards, as well as the Nagurski Trophy. His performance last season saw the Mobile, Ala., product earn team Player of the Week honors an unprecedented 11 times during the 12-game regular season schedule.

Mosley was a Parade, U.S. Army and EA Sports All-American selection at Theodore High School, where he finished as his team's all-time leading tackler with over 500 stops in his career. The two-time Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 6A All-State selection and the Class 6A Lineman of the Year in 2009, Mosley logged 112 tackles, four sacks and one interception as a sophomore in 2007, followed by 176 tackles, (115 solos) as a junior in 2008, recording 17 tackles for loss, seven sacks, causing four fumbles, recovering two more and intercepting two passes.

As a senior, Mosley set the school record with 186 tackles, breaking the mark he set as a junior. He also registered seven sacks, five fumble recoveries and four interceptions, as the Prep Star and Super Prep All-American finished second in the state voting for Alabama's best player on the Birmingham News Super Senior list. He closed out his prep career by playing in the U.S. Army All-American Game and the Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game.

What separates Mosley from most of the top linebackers in this draft class is his incredible lateral movement, making most of his plays away from his assigned area. He has more than ample speed to pursue long distances and is called a "coach on the field" for his high intelligence. He plays with textbook-perfect tackle technique and excels running sideline-to-sideline, along with performing like a defensive back in pass coverage. Those traits were evident as the weak-side linebacker became the future for Alabama in the middle of the defense.

Despite not starting any of the 13 games he appeared in as a true freshman for Alabama, Mosley finished third on the team with 67 tackles. He excelled in pass coverage, as the Freshman All-American led the team with 10 pass deflections. Both of his pass thefts were returned for touchdowns and his two QB pressures both resulted in interceptions.

Mosley was hampered by a hip injury and a dislocated elbow in 2011, starting six times while appearing in 11 contests as a sophomore. The weak-side linebacker registered a career-low 37 tackles with two sacks while sharing those position duties with Nico Johnson.

Mosley started 10 times as a junior, as the Butkus Award finalist and consensus All-American led the Tide with 107 tackles that included eight stops behind the line of scrimmage and four sacks. When he ran back a pass theft for a score vs. Michigan, he tied the school record with three interception returns for touchdowns during a career.

The unanimous All-American would close out his career as the school's third-leading tackler with 319 hits, registering a team-high 108 tackles (61 solos) in 2013. He produced nine stops-for-loss as the Walter Camp Player of the Year semi-finalist did not record any sacks, but caused interceptions on five of his 10 pressures. Since becoming a starter, he posted 86 more tackles than any other Tide defender on the roster.


Mosley started 29-of-51 games at weak-side linebacker, recording 319 tackles (174 solos) with 6.5 sacks for minus-52 yards, 23.0 stops for losses of 96 yards and 15 quarte-back pressures…Deflected 19 passes and intercepted five others for 93 yards in returns that included three touchdowns…Caused two fumbles and recovered another.

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