Alabama is set to play for its third national championship in four years and is in an ideal position to continue its dominance over college football in 2013.
Nick Saban has proven to be one of the best recruiters in the nation, and another talented class of freshman will be heading to Tuscaloosa next fall.
In addition, a few key juniors have already announced their intention to stick around, meaning Alabama will have youth, talent and experience as it attempts to go for yet another national championship next season.
Here are the players who will lead the Tide in 2013:
A.J. McCarron, Quarterback
McCarron has continually improved throughout his time in Tuscaloosa, and he will return for his senior season as a more experienced and prolific passer.
As ESPN’s Alex Scarborough reported earlier this month, Alabama announced that McCarron will not declare for the draft this season, and he will be under center for the Tide next year.
McCarron threw 19 touchdown passes this season before tossing his first interception, and he currently has 26 passes for a score and just three picks.
He has been efficient and effective this year, and he will be instrumental in Alabama’s attempt to win the BCS National Championship Game and in the team’s 2013 campaign.
C.J. Mosley, Middle Linebacker
Mosley has stepped up this season and become a force in the middle of Alabama’s defense.
He leads the team by a wide margin with 99 tackles. He also has seven tackles for a loss, four sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
His ability to run from sideline to sideline has allowed him to be an elite playmaker this season, and he will continue to frustrate opposing offenses as a senior. ESPN’s Chris Low and Alex Scarborough reported recently that Mosley will be back for his final year of eligibility.
Next year, Mosley's presence both on the field and in the locker room will be invaluable, and he will ensure that Alabama’s dominance on defense continues.
Robert Foster, Wide Receiver
Who will have a better 2013 season?
Pennsylvania-based recruit Robert Foster will arrive in Tuscaloosa with plenty of fanfare, and he will make an impact from the very start of his career at Alabama. As ESPN’s Jared Shanker notes, Foster recently committed to the Crimson Tide.
Amari Cooper has 895 receiving yards and nine touchdowns as a true freshman, proving Saban is perfectly willing to put first-year players on the field if they are able to make an impact.
Foster is 6’3” and 190 pounds with incredible speed and quickness for a receiver of his size. His ability to score any time he touches the ball will ensure that he is included in the Tide’s plans for next season.
McCarron will have an exciting amount of talent to throw to, and he will take full advantage of it. Cooper will have another fine season in 2013, but Foster should steal a significant amount of his time in the spotlight with a fantastic freshman campaign.