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CBS Sports names Dylan Moses as a top CFB ‘bounceback’ candidate

Which returning college football star will have the biggest bounce-back season in 2020? Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses certainly warrants discussion after being forced to miss the entire 2019 campaign due to a knee injury that he sustained in the preseason. The CBS Sports college football staff recently submitted their picks for players who will have the biggest turnarounds this coming fall, and Ben Kercheval made the case for Moses to be one of them.

“There’s nothing like a preseason injury to wipe your name from our collective memories,” Kercheval wrote. “Lest we forget that Moses was considered one of college football’s biggest names before a preseason knee injury cost him the 2019 season. Moses led the Crimson Tide with 86 tackles in 2018, is a total freak of nature and has the versatility to play inside and outside linebacker spots.

“He was a projected first-round pick in some way-too-early mock drafts as easily one of Alabama’s most important players. And while the Tide’s defense was still good last year, it wasn’t as dominant as it has been in year’s past and Moses’ injury — among other reasons — played a role. Coming back for another year, Moses should reemerge as one of college football’s top linebackers and be a Day 1 guy in the 2021 NFL Draft.

On Aug. 27, four days before the Crimson Tide kicked off the 2019 season against Duke, Moses suffered a knee injury in practice that sidelined him indefinitely. The injury required surgery and provided Alabama with “a character check for our team,” coach Nick Saban said. Moses is making progress in his recovery, however, and will be ready to play next season.

Despite the injury, Moses was still considered one of the top prospects for the 2020 draft. But he ultimately decided to return to Tuscaloosa for one final go-around rather than turn pro.

“After much thought and prayer, my family and I have decided that the best decision for me is to return to Alabama and finish my college education,” Moses wrote when announcing his return. “Football is not who I am. It is what I do. Life after football is what I am most concerned about, and I want to ensure I can put myself in the best possible situation to succeed in life, fulfill my goals and make my dreams come true…

“The 2020 season will be very personal to me, and I want nothing more than to finish my Alabama career in style. The program’s goal is to compete for championships and next year will be no different. Next season isn’t about draft stock or money — it’s about grinding with my brothers and winning another national title.”

Alabama is slated to kick off its 2020 campaign with a neutral-site contest against USC on Sept. 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

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