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Linebacker C.J. Mosley admits he's been 'way more animated' during final season at Alabama
Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) celebrates a stop on the first series during the #1 Alabama vs Va. Tech NCAA football game, Saturday, August 31, 2013, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga. (Vasha Huntfirstname.lastname@example.org)
-- C.J. Mosley is going out with a bang.
And a scream.
And a few pounds to the chest.
If you've noticed Alabama's senior linebacker playing with a little more fire, a little more outward enthusiasm, you aren't alone. The quiet, unassuming, stat-sheet stuffing Mosley of the past three years has been replaced by a fiery ball of infectious energy who continues to inflict just as much damage on opposing ball-carriers.
Mosley, who leads Alabama with 79 tackles and seven tackles for loss, admitted as much Wednesday.
"I've been playing way more animated than what I've been doing," Mosley said. "Just getting the crowd pumped and doing little things after the play, but this is my last year and I'm going all out. I'm not holding anything back.
"That was one of the big things about me coming back, besides school, was not to have any regrets and go all out for this last year."
Though he was projected as a potential first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Mosley never really considered leaving Alabama before his senior season. His focus not only centered on landing his diploma, but also on proving himself as an every-down linebacker on one of the nation's best defenses.
He's set to graduate in December and has maintained his status as one of the country's best at his position.
"To me I wasn't fully developed yet, especially me not playing on every down," Mosley said. "I think I've proven out well this year that I can play every down. It's helped me out a lot."
Mosley is a semifinalist for four major awards. He's in good position to be a finalist for the Butkus award (best linebacker) and could also be in line for the Bednarik Award (best defensive player) and Lombardi (best offensive lineman, defensive lineman or linebacker.)
He's even had a few writers wonder why he isn't being .
"I'm pretty much a laid back guy. I try to stay humble about everything," Mosley said. "I know I wouldn't be in the position I am now if it wasn't for the coaches and my teammates, so I am blessed to be in the situation. Hopefully we keep winning so I can get on the finalist (lists)."
Mosley said he's taken inspiration from former NFL linebacker Ray Lewis as he lets out his emotions after making a hard-hitting tackle.
Mosley said he wishes he could be as vocal as Lewis -- who spoke to Alabama before the season started -- was during his 17 years with the Baltimore Ravens.
Mosley shared one of his favorite anecdotes from Lewis' speech after Wednesday's practice.
"Usually when you wake up the first thing you do is look at your phone," Mosley said. "He said when he wakes up he just takes a deep breath and clears his mind. Who even thinks about that when they wake up in the morning? Just the start of his day, his thought process is that fast."
The process from Mosley's first snap as a true freshman to his final game at Bryant-Denny Stadium has felt just as fast.
He doesn't expect the emotions he expresses on the field to spill over to Saturday's Senior Day festivities.
"I don't really know about tears. I will be sad," he said. "It's going to be hard to
leave here and have to start all over again next year. It's a great
place to be."
As the Crimson Tide tries to again defend its national championship in football, no university may defend its trademarks and logos more vigorously than Alabama.
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