Nick Saban comments on Dylan Moses' decision to return in 2020: 'He wanted to be a leader of the team'
If you missed the news on Monday evening, Alabama junior linebacker Dylan Moses announced his decision to return to Alabama for the 2020 season.
While Moses certainly has the talent to play in the NFL as soon as next season, he didn’t get the opportunity to showcase that talent on the field for the Crimson Tide this season after suffering a season-ending injury during Alabama’s training camp.
In 2018, Moses led Alabama with 86 tackles, was a finalist for the Butkus Award and was named Second-Team All-SEC by the league’s coaches.
Here is a segment of Moses’ released statement announcing his decision to return to Alabama for the 2020 season:
“After much thought and prayer, my family and I have decided that the best decision for me is to return to Alabama and finish my college education. Football is not who I am. It is what I do. Life after football is what I am most concerned about, and I want to ensure I can put myself in the best possible situation to succeed in life, fulfill my goals and make my dreams come true.
“The 2020 season will be very personal to me, and I want nothing more than to finish my Alabama career in style. The program’s goal is to compete for championships and next year will be no different. Next season isn’t about draft stock or money — it’s about grinding with my brothers and winning another national title.”
Nick Saban met with the media on Tuesday morning leading up to the Citrus Bowl and the first question the Alabama coach received was on Moses and the decision-making process Crimson Tide players go through before declaring their intentions.
“We try to give the facts and the reality of every player’s situation – relative to the decision they can make for them and their family,” Saban responded. “In Dylan’s case, it was because of his injury, how was that going to affect his draft status? He didn’t play all year long this year. So, he can create value by coming back and we certainly have to as an institution and an organization, we had to make him comfortable on how we insure.
“Hopefully, he’s not going to have these kinds of problems in the future and he’ll be able to improve his draft status. I think the big thing with Dylan, he wanted to be a part of the team. He wanted to be a leader of the team, he wanted to come back and play well for Alabama and that was probably the deciding factor for him. Obviously, he’s a great player, great person and a good leader and he can make a significant impact on making us better next year.”
That’s an interesting comment from Saban for a number of reasons. He mentioned Alabama’s ability to ensure Moses next season against another injury but also shed some light on the linebacker’s leadership role within the locker room in Tuscaloosa.
If Alabama is going to bounce back and win the SEC in 2020, they are going to need players like Moses to step up on the field and return the “Alabama factor” on the field, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.