MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley had a breakout season in 2012, and he said the team is sharpening its skills in preparation for the Fighting Irish.
Mosley didn't just pick up the football and become a star athlete. He said he has been playing football since he could walk and it all started in Theodore, Ala.
"At 4 or 5, I started off at Navco Park very young. Me and my brother always played football, basically from day one. So, we started young," said Mosley.
Mosley played linebacker and running back at Theodore High School and said around his freshmen and sophomore year, he began realizing he had talent.
After Theodore, Mosley headed to The University of Alabama where he started as a true freshman.
Since 2010, Mosley has won several awards and played in the 2011 national championship game. He said getting awards is humbling because he is doing what he loves.
"I appreciate what my coaches do and all the time people have put in for me. Half the time if people didn't tell me, or I didn't see it on Twitter, I wouldn't know I had it anyway," Mosley said.
For the most part, Mosley said he is quiet and stays grounded with the help of his family and God.
Mosley said, growing up, his family was always very supportive of him and his athletic career.
However, he said if he didn't get good grades, then he couldn't play sports and that's something that stands true to this day.
So, instead of taking his talents to the NFL, the All-American football player is staying with the Tide for another season.
"The main thing most of the coaches said at Theodore, was to stay in focus and get your education first. So that's one of the main things I remembered, because I know there's a lot of people here that look up to me and want me to be successful," said Mosley.
Mosley said his education does come first. But it's not the only reason he's staying.
Mosley said in the 2012 season, he didn't feel he accomplished everything he could as a football player. He said he feels like he had a great season, but his 2012 performance is only about 70 percent of what he's capable of.
He believes he can do better and is determined to do so.
"Whether it's starting out or just giving it all I got before I leave, I just want to make sure I don't have any regrets as far as what I did and what I've done," said Mosley.
That may sound crazy to fans that saw Mosley tip the ball in the SEC Championship game, thereby securing Alabama's spot in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.
"When I tipped it, I didn't even know where the ball was. I thought it was in the air so I just turned around and was trying to see what happened. Then I saw he caught it and I was just trying to make sure they made a tackle when he went down," Mosely said.
When the clock ran out, Mosley said the celebration began, it was the first SEC Championship title of his career and in that moment, Mosely said he wasn't thinking about the national championship, Miami or Nortre Dame.
He said it just felt good to have an SEC Championship under his belt and to come out with that victory.
Now, however, Mosley says his focus has switched to the Fighting Irish.
"We just have to treat it like another game. We can't make it too much more than what it is or not enough of what it is so you just have to take the steps to get to the victory," said Mosley.
Mosley said, in a way, he has an advantage after playing in the 2011 National Championship game against LSU.
At the end of the day, he said, you still have a job to do and you must hold yourself accountable and treat the championship like any other game.
As a leader, Mosley said he makes sure he keeps the same routine and that means practicing and playing the same way so the team acts the same way when it comes to the game.
Of course, the team and fans want to see a win and that's the mentality Mosley said the team members carry with them, the mindset of champions.
"That's the reason we do what we do because we always have that mentality. That's the way we work. We work like champions and we play like champions so if you do that, you're always going to put yourself in that position," said Mosley.
The first few days in Miami, Mosley said the team will have time to sightsee, walk on South Beach, shop and see with the city of Miami has to offer.
"It's good to enjoy the moment because there's going to be a lot of stuff going on. We're going to have a hectic schedule, practice and seeing people, so at the end of the day, you still have to enjoy yourself," said Mosely.
And he said that's exactly what he plans on doing.
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