SDS’ top 25 players of 2012: No. 18 CJ Mosley

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SDS is continually counting down the top 25 players in the SEC for 2012, and we’re not stopping until we get to that sexy No. 1. We don’t just rank stats or project players at the next level based on athletic superiority, but we rank players based on the season they had in 2012. I know you’ll agree with every single one…

No. 18 – CJ Mosley, Alabama, LB

2012 Stats: 107 total tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks, two INTs and one forced fumble

Why he’s worthy: The consensus first-team All-American and first-team all-SEC choice was the glue that helped hold the Alabama defense together in 2012. Mosley, along with Nico Johnson, were two of three experienced players returning at linebacker ready to lead a defense that lost six starters and seven total impact players from 2011’s national championship team.

But they didn’t skip a beat.

While Dee Milliner and Jesse Williams get most of the pub and ink, Mosley led the Tide with 107 total tackles, finished third with eight tackles for loss and even nabbed two interceptions. He returned one against Michigan for a 16-yard touchdown; it was the third pick-six of his career, tying an Alabama record.

With so many different faces and so much change for Nick Saban on defense in ‘12, Mosley helped lead the new faces to an easy transition and back-to-back national championships.

Mosley is a high-character player who plays with a lot of intelligence and is loved by his teammates. He’s Alabama’s biggest sure-tackler and one of the best coverage linebackers in the country.

So, why did he return to Alabama for his senior season? It seems like he’s accomplished all he can and was even projected as a high pick.

“I still have a lot of things that I want to accomplish in college and I felt like it was best for me to come back and improve as a player and learn under coach [Nick] Saban for another year,” Mosley said.

Mosley returns alongside fellow linebacker Adrian Hubbard to form the duo he and Johnson formed last season. Only this time, Hubbard and Mosley return with better overall numbers than what he and Johnson returned with in 2012.

Mosley will return bigger and stronger in 2013, and that’s terrible news for opposing offenses.

The Countdown

Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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