Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses was named an AP Preseason All-American heading into 2019. The second-ranked Crimson Tide were looking towards their defensive leader to bolster a linebacking corps that includes true freshman Christian Harris at the WILL position and Terrell Lewis at SAM, the latter of whom missed the last two seasons with arm and knee injuries.
However, Moses suffered a torn ACL during the team’s practice on Tuesday night. Matt Zenitz of AL.com confirmed the news, and the injury is expected to sideline Alabama’s defensive star for the entire 2019 college football season.
Dylan Moses Suffers Torn ACL
You’ve heard all about the “next man up” mentality when a player is injured, but in this case, it’s not as easy as turning the page and filling Alabama’s linebacking corps with any other player.
Heading into the regular season, the junior linebacker has been named All-SEC in each of his first two years, as well as earning Second-Team All-American honors last year. He was also a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker. Moses led the Alabama football team in tackles (86) as a sophomore and was the coaching staff’s defensive player of the week in massive SEC wins over Texas A&M, LSU and Auburn.
Listed behind Moses on the Alabama Crimson Tide’s first depth chart of the season is true freshman Shane Lee and redshirt sophomore Markail Benton. It’s likely both of them will share duties at the MIKE position when Alabama travels to Atlanta and takes on the Duke Blue Devils in its season opener. Jaylen Moody, Ale Kaho and Christopher Allen — they combine for zero career starts — could also be called upon to fill the void at middle linebacker.
Alabama already lost starting linebacker Joshua McMillon to a season-ending injury earlier this preseason.
Moses is projected to be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but this injury could change those plans. Moses could still make the jump to the pros depending on the speed of his recovery, but it won’t be without a few question marks.
Coach Nick Saban is famous for building great teams on the fly in Tuscaloosa. This injury, however, will be one of his toughest fixes in a long time.