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Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) jogs off the field after the No. 1 Alabama at Mississippi State NCAA football game, Saturday, November 16, 2013, at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. (Vasha Hunt/vhunt@al.com)

-- Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley went from semifinalist to finalist for one of college football's top honors.

Mosley is one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski trophy, which goes to the nation's best defensive player.

Mosley, who leads the Crimson Tide with 79 tackles and seven tackles for loss, is one of two players from the SEC to make the final cut, joining Missouri defensive end Michael Sam. He's the only linebacker.

Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner are the other finalists.

Mosley is a semifinalist for five other major awards: Butkus (best linebacker), Bednarik (most outstanding defensive player), Lombardi (best offensive lineman, defensive lineman or linebacker), Lott IMPACT (best defensive player with character) and Walter Camp (Most outstanding player).

"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," Mosley said Wednesday. "Hopefully we keep winning so I can get on the finalist (lists)."

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o won the Nagurski Trophy last year.

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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