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Alabama LB Dylan Moses has ‘turned it loose’ and ‘looks like his old self,’ according to Nick Saban

Dylan Moses looks on at Alabama's 200 fall camp
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

Alabama football is more than ready to face Missouri this weekend.

Nothing made this statement more evident than hearing Nick Saban speak proudly on Dylan Moses at middle linebacker, as he returns from a season-ending knee injury to captain the Crimson Tide’s defense. He was locked in to running the group in 2019, unfortunately the medical mishap happened in August camp.

After watching the Tide struggle to limit opponents in the running game, passing attack and on third downs, Moses took notes and got his teammates back right throughout the summer.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder had a great fall camp and he looks to strike fear into all opposition.

RELATED: Alabama’s top five impact players for its season opener versus Missouri

While there is a slight concern about how he will maneuver on his knee, Saban said on Thursday’s airing of “Hey Coach!” that the redshirt junior is back to ‘his old self.’

“I think one of the things that I never realized about injured players, until I had my hip replaced last year, is sometimes you keep waiting for it to hurt even when it doesn’t hurt any more. … I think sometimes that’s one of the biggest psychological hurdles that a player has to overcome when he’s coming back from an injury,” Saban said of Moses.

When it comes to his teammates in player interviews, those of whom spoke to local reporters have all mentioned how much stronger and faster Moses looks on the field. Prior to his injury, the former five-star was a finalist for the Dick Butkus Award in 2018 — following a performance of 86 tackles (team-high), 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He pushed the Crimson Tide to a Southeastern Conference Championship and per Saban, the Louisiana native looked very sharp in the last two weeks.

’Ive seen Dylan turn it loose and go for it like he played in the past,” Saban said.

“Up until that time, I thought he played good, but I could tell he was still a little bit tentative. Not at all now. Very focused, been a good leader for the team, has helped the guys, I think, with his experience and knowledge and ability to call things and make adjustments. I think he’s just as good as he ever was.”

This a terrific sign for Alabama and a worrisome one for the rest of college football.

RELATED: Nick Saban still searching for the right mask ahead of Missouri game

With the tandem of Moses and Christian Harris anchoring the middle of the defense, Pete Golding (defensive coordinator) is looking to get the Tide back to being a top-five group across the board. A dominant season from Moses would solidify him as a first-rounder for the 2021 NFL Draft, and potentially a top-5 pick. Regardless of the idea, his mind is solely on returning to the College Football Playoff and winning his second national championship.

Moses saw Tua Tagovailoa come off the bench as a freshman and win it for the 2017 class on offense, but now it is his turn to lead the defense to the big stage and win it all.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 15 years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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