Alabama Football: 3 Tiders Who Should Take Home National Awards in 2013

Sanjay KirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystNovember 17, 2013

Alabama senior LB C.J. Mosley has had an outstanding season and is in position to be recognized as one of the nation's most dominant defenders.
Alabama senior LB C.J. Mosley has had an outstanding season and is in position to be recognized as one of the nation's most dominant defenders.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With Alabama closing in on an opportunity to win its third consecutive national title, the Tide figure to have a number of players who will create some buzz on the postseason awards circuit.

Quarterback AJ McCarron leads the group of the Tide's standouts who have impressed this season.

Which players have the best cases to take home individual honors?

 

AJ McCarron

Potential Awards: Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award (semifinalist), Davey O'Brien Award (semifinalist), Walter Camp Player of the Year Award (semifinalist), Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (finalist)

It was at this point last season when AJ McCarron began to fall out of the Heisman Trophy race. But in 2013, his candidacy is beginning to surge as the regular season winds down.

McCarron's numbers (2,228 passing yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions) aren't as gaudy as players such as Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Florida State's Jameis Winston or Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel. However, they are solid enough considering that he's piloting the nation's top-ranked team and has them in prime position to win a third straight BCS title.

The Tide still have a pair of showcase games—the regular season finale at No. 6 Auburn and the SEC title game against either No. 8 Missouri or No. 12 South Carolina.

If he has a signature performance in either game and the Tide run the table, McCarron should, at the very least, earn a trip to New York City for the Heisman ceremony. Even if he doesn't bring home the famed bronze statue, he remains a strong candidate for several other honors.

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 01: Cyrus Kouandjio #71 of the University of Alabama reacts after a big stop during the game against the University of Michigan at Cowboys Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Alabama defeated Michigan 41-14.  (Photo
Leon Halip/Getty Images

 

Cyrus Kouandjio

Potential Award: Outland Trophy

Regarded as one of the top left tackles in the country, Cyrus Kouandjio has shaken off a rough start to the 2013 campaign by anchoring a rebuilt offensive line that has rounded into one of the nation's top units.

According to the school's athletic communications department, Kouandjio has recorded a team-high 13 knockdown blocks and given up just 1.5 sacks in 254 pass attempts through the first nine games.

Alabama also ranks ninth in the country in sacks allowed (0.90 per game), with Kouandjio responsible for protecting McCarron's blind side.

With the offense's continued improvement over the course of the season, Kouandjio has put together a strong case to become the fourth Tide player to take home the Outland Trophy.

 

C.J. Mosley

Potential Awards: Semifinalist for Lombardi Award, Butkus Award, Bednarik Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy

Linebacker C.J. Mosley has been the quarterback of a Tide defense that leads the nation in scoring defense, according to cfbstats.com.

The 6'2", 232-pound senior is on pace to become just the 26th player in SEC history to become a two-time consensus All-American. 

His versatility to be an impact player in pass coverage, in run support, as a blitzer and on special teams has made him one of Nick Saban's most trusted leaders over the course of his career.

Mosley, who is the Tide's leading tackler with 79 stops, has enjoyed a strong senior campaign that has put him in prime position to take home some of college football's most prized honors on the defensive side of the ball.

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 09:  A'Shawn Robinson #86 of the Alabama Crimson Tide pressures Zach Mettenberger #8 of the LSU Tigers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 9, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

 

While these three standouts represent the best chance to bring some individual hardware back to Tuscaloosa, several other players are in contention for postseason honors.

Safeties Landon Collins, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and guard Anthony Steen are also in the mix for various awards and potential All-American honors. Additionally, a pair of freshmen—tight end O.J. Howard and defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson—should contend for Freshman All-American honors.

Given Alabama's success as a team, the Tide have a strong contingent of individual standouts who are in position to reap the rewards of their strong play this season.