Back Dylan Moses, Alabama’s Next Great LB

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Dylan Moses, Alabama’s Next Great LB

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Once again, the Crimson Tide have one of the nation's best linebackers.

Each one of Alabama's leading tacklers at linebacker over the last decade have all gone on to be selected in the top 41 picks in the NFL Draft. Correspondingly, the Crimson Tide have a downright remarkable recent history of All-SEC performers, and ultimately national champions, roaming the middle of the field. It has, for years, been the program standard. Rising junior Dylan Moses has proven to be the next-in-line.

Now an upperclassman returning after a team-high 86 tackles, the 6'3'', 235-pound Moses steps into a leadership role for a program with five national titles the last ten years. For all of the big names that have come before him, Moses is still a standout all his own. He, as a former five-star recruit and early-enrollee, a talent that was on the cover of ESPN the Magazine in middle school, is one of the most athletic defenders in all of college football. That range is on display on every play, along with an instinctive awareness that almost-always has Moses in the right place at the right time.    

Though Moses was an impact player as a freshman, last season was his true national showcase. Moses made his presence felt in a September triumph over nationally-ranked Texas A&M, compiling nine total stops and a tackle for loss. Additionally, Moses' was key in wins over the likes of Arkansas, Tennessee and Auburn, as well as the SEC Championship Game victory over Georgia. He was one of just four Power Five underclassman with at least 85 total tackles, 45 solo stops, ten tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks last fall.

The last Alabama linebacker to return after leading the team in tackles was now four-time NFL Pro Bowler C.J. Mosley. After 107 tackles in 2012, he returned with 108 in 2013; Mosley was ultimately named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and the winner of the famed Butkus Award.

Moses is potentially poised for a similar rise.

Alabama's latest star linebacker will be the centerpiece of one of the nation's premier defenses. After a slight statistical regression a year ago, the Crimson Tide, bringing back the likes of Moses, Raekwon Davis, Anfernee Jennings, Xavier McKinney, Patrick Surtain and others, are ready for a return to dominance. Full-time defensive coordinator Pete Golding, the co-coordinator this past season, is quite familiar with the skill set of Moses as he is also Alabama's inside linebackers coach.

After a lopsided loss in the national championship game, the Crimson Tide, expectations unwavering after five titles in ten years, are coming; Moses is one leading the charge. A pre-season All-American, he is on a mission to make sure Alabama reaches its postseason goals.

Once again, the Crimson Tide have one of the nation's best linebackers, a proud program tradition in Tuscaloosa and a Nick Saban staple. Alabama has long produced a storied lineage of middle-of-the-field defenders. Moses is more of the same.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports