Make that one trophy down for Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley in what could be a big award season for the senior.
The Mobile, Ala., native joined Rolando McClain (2009) and Derrick Thomas (1988) to become the third UA defender to claim the honor.
College football featured an abundance of talent at linebacker this season, making the list of Butkus Award finalists an impressive one. Mosley beat out several elite linebackers for the honor, including UCLA's Anthony Barr, Ohio State's Ryan Shazier, Shayne Skov of Stanford and Khalil Mack of Buffalo.
The 6'2", 238-pound Tide linebacker finished with 70 points in the award voting, followed by Mack with 52, Barr with 44 and Shazier with 22. Mosley succeeded last year's winner Manti Te'o.
The Butkus Award committee acknowledged this year's deep linebacker class, while praising Mosley's boundless skill set:
This year’s college linebacker class was among the best history. 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.
With 102 total tackles, Mosley finished the season first on his team and No. 4 in the SEC. He added nine tackles for a loss, five pass breakups, eight quarterback hurries and a forced fumble.
Even more impressive than his individual statistics was the season had by the Alabama defense, of which Mosley was the known leader.
'Bama finished the regular season at No. 2 in the nation in scoring defense, No. 5 in total defense, No. 5 against the pass and 11th against the run. Mosley and the Crimson Tide managed a remarkable season despite dealing with several explosive attacks in SEC play, including Auburn and Texas A&M, which ranked No. 11 and No. 4, respectively, in total offense.
Before Mosley heads to the NFL, he'll lead Alabama in the Orange Bowl against Oklahoma on Jan. 2.
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