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32 Days ‘Til Alabama Football: C.J. Mosley, the overlooked All-American

The most complete Alabama linebacker of the modern era

LSU v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In Alabama’s dominating linebacker history, you won’t find C.J. Mosley’s names in many record books. He wasn’t the fastest, the most athletic, the hardest-hitter, the best run-stopper, the best pass-rusher and maybe not even the most cerebral. He didn’t have games where he racked up two dozen tackles, or notched 4-5 sacks. He wasn’t generally considered terrifying, unlike a Cornelius Bennett or a Reuben Foster.

But, in terms of all of those things, C.J. Mosley may be the most complete linebacker of post-Bryant era. All he did was make plays -- inside-out, sideline-to-sideline, in pass coverage, when needed on the pass rush, in the run game, stripping the ball, leading the pursuit. If Reuben Foster is fueled by violence, and Orlando McCain by his on-field intelligence, then Mosley was the technician -- fundamentally sound in every way you could want a linebacker to be.

No, his name isn’t in the record books, but the coaches and media voters recognized what he did on the field, and it was near-perfection at the position. At Alabama, Mosley was a two-time consensus All-American, a two-time All-SEC first-teamer, the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year, and the winner of the Butkus Award.

Artistry meets science. The perfect linebacker.

32 ‘days ‘til Alabama football

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