By the Crimson Tide's ridiculous standards, 2013 was an off-year; after leading the nation in total defense each of the past two seasons, Nick Saban's unit slipped all the way to fifth (horrors!) and tenth in yards allowed per-play (disaster!).
But if there's any player who stands blameless for the Tide's "struggles," it's All-American linebacker C.J. Mosley, who led the team with 102 tackles and was the driving force behind Alabama still comfortably leading the SEC in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense, and yards per-play allowed. Mosley was rewarded for his good work Sunday with the 2013 Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker.
Per al.com, Mosley received the award at the Alabama postseason football banquet, with award namesake Dick Butkus in attendance.
“This year's college linebacker class was among the best in history," the award's selection committee said in a statement. "Mosley's combination of instincts, range, playmaking ability, on-field leadership and work ethic distinguished his performance. His selfless contributions on special teams and in the community speak to his strength of character and support the Butkus Award mission.”
Mosley was selected over fellow finalists Anthony Barr of UCLA, Shayne Skov of Stanford, Khalil Mack of Buffalo, and Ryan Shazier of Ohio State.
In addition to the 102 total tackles, Mosley collected nine tackles for loss, eight QB hurries, and five passes broken up. Mosley was named the Tide's defensive player of the week by his coaches after 11 of their 12 games.