Alabama’s 2013 offense got a boost with the announcement earlier this month that quarterback AJ McCarron would be returning for another season.
Thursday, it was the defensive side of the ball receiving a somewhat unexpected bump as well.
Following ongoing practice preparations for the BCS title game early next month, head coach Nick Saban confirmed that linebacker C.J. Mosley will return to the Tide for his senior season next year. The move will come as a mild surprise as some had Mosley leaning toward an early departure for the NFL.
“C.J. is an outstanding player and a really good leader,” Saban said in quotes distributed by the team. “He’s a guy that can have a tremendous impact on the game. We are really pleased and happy to have him back. This guy is one that will make you proud. He, personally, academically and athletically has done extremely well in every way in terms of how he has represented himself, his family, our program and The University of Alabama.”
Mosley’s return is huge for the Tide. Not only was the true junior one of just 11 consensus defensive All-Americans this season, but he has emerged as a leader of the unit both on and off the field.
After 13 games, Mosley currently leads the Tide in tackles (99); is second in sacks with four; third in tackles for loss with seven; and tied for third in interceptions with two.
Arguably the best Mosley statistic? He’s on track to receive his UA degree next December, which played a role in his return as well. Mosley added that he still had some things he wanted to accomplish with the football program, which made for what he described as an easy decision to stick around for another season.
“There’s a lot I still haven’t accomplished yet as far as football goals, and I still want to get my degree,” Mosley said. “It really hasn’t been a tough decision because the whole time I knew I was going to stay.”
Both running back Eddie Lacy and cornerback Dee Milliner confirmed today that they will not make a decision on turning pro or staying until after the BCS title game against Notre Dame.