Last December, Alabama freshman linebacker Dylan Moses was making a move up the Crimson Tide depth chart at just the right time, playing his best football as postseason play approached with other UA linebackers sidelined by injury.
Then, on December 17, as Alabama was preparing for its College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson, Moses made one wrong step — and his freshman season was over.
“It was a broken foot,” the 6-foot-3, 240-pound sophomore said at Alabama’s recent media day. “I tried to come back in time for the Georgia game. It was just too soon.”
Moses was able to come back in time for spring practice and was a standout. He was the leading tackler (10) in the A-Day Game. Going into the season, he and junior Mack Wilson are expected to be the twin anchors of Alabama’s inside linebacking group.
“Missing the playoff games was hard,” Moses said. “All through the offseason, it’s been a motivating factor for me. I’m ready to be back on the field.”
Alabama fans are ready to see him. Those who follow recruiting closely have been aware of Moses since he was an eighth-grader at University Lab School in Baton Rouge. His recruitment, which included offers from LSU and Alabama before he even reached high school, was national news, the subject of a feature in ESPN The Magazine. Moses had close family ties to LSU but with the departure of Les Miles and Moses’ transfer to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, Nick Saban — who had never relented in the recruitment — was able to land the commitment.
Even now, Moses retains his Louisiana ties. Like the rest of the players on the Alabama defense, Moses has a new position coach, but one with whom he formed an immediate bond.
“Coach Pete (Golding) is doing a great job with us,” Moses said. “He came from Texas-San Antonio, but he’s actually from Louisiana. He’s from Hammond, I’m from Baton Rouge, so we have a lot in common. So that’s been good.”
All the national predictions are starting to come true for Moses, though. He’s a projected starter and is starting to make national watch lists. He declined to speculate about NFL possibilities in the 2020 Draft, focusing instead on his current role at Alabama.
“It feels like a dream come true,” he said. “I’m finally over the adjustment from last year. I’ve overcome adversity. It’s kind of overwhelming, really. But I’m ready to get started.”
Reach Cecil Hurt at email@example.com or 205-722-0225.