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Top 12 Tiders

With spring drills in the books, here's our first ranking of the top 12 players for the 2013 Crimson Tide.

Mosley's black jersey will be replaced by crimson come the fall.

1.] LB CJ Mosley (Final 2012 ranking: 1)
Spring forward: No more questions about Mosley's presence on an every down basis. With Nico Johnson moving on, the senior won't leave the field as a senior. With 211 tackles in three seasons, Mosley heads into his final season with an outside shot at Wayne Davis' UA career mark of 327 stops.
2012 season: Led the team in tackles with 107 stops, a total that stands as the most by a defender in Nick Saban era at Alabama. A nine-time recipient of player of the week honors from the UA coaching staff, Mosley was one of seven UA defenders to record an interception in 2012.

2.] QB AJ McCarron (5)
Spring forward: McCarron reported an increase in arm strength during the spring. With the speed he has to work with on the outside, he's still an underdog to overthrow guys like Amari Cooper, Kenny Bell and DeAndrew White. Needs 11 wins in 2013 to surpass Jay Barker for most victories by an Alabama starting quarterback.
2012 season: In 14 starts, completed 211 of 314 (67.2 percent) passes for 2,933 yards and 30 touchdowns (school record) with three interceptions. FBS passing efficiency ranking of 175.3 ranked first nationally. Finalist for the Johnny Unitas (top quarterback) Award. Third-team All-America and second-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press.

3.] WR Amari Cooper (6)
Spring forward: Based on his scrimmage performances this spring, his record-setting freshman season might have been just a warm-up. Good bet to join DJ Hall as one of two UA receivers to hit the 1,000-yard receiving mark twice.
2012 season: Led UA in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions (11). Caught four or more passes in nine of last 11 games. Three-time Offensive Player of the Week selection by the UA coaching staff and two-time 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week. Freshman All-America and freshman All-SEC selection.

4.] RB TJ Yeldon (11)
Spring forward: My, how quickly we forget. Just twelve months ago, it was Yeldon who was the buzz of spring drills. A year later, it's Derrick Henry. Come the fall, the line will start with Yeldon and go from there. Barring injury, look for Yeldon to do something Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy didn't: post multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons for the Crimson Tide.
2012 season: As a true freshman, Yeldon rushed for 1,108 yards and 12 touchdowns on 175 carries (6.3 ypc), easily surpassing freshman numbers from Ingram and Richardson. Broke UA's freshman rushing record, surpassing Terry Grant's 891 yards in 2007. Tied Ingram's UA freshman record for touchdowns in a season. Freshman All-America and freshman All-SEC.

5.] OT Cyrus Kouandjio (12)
Spring forward: A bit of a question mark coming off a knee injury a year ago, Kouandjio enters his junior season as one of the top prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft. The biggest question this season will be, how many Kouandjios will the left side of the offensive line feature?
2012 season: Started all 14 games. Picked up offensive player of the week honors from UA coaching staff following wins over LSU and Georgia.

6.] S HaHa Clinton-Dix (Not ranked)
Spring forward: Looks to have carried over a strong finish to the 2012 season to his junior campaign. Clinton-Dix got my vote for most NFL-ready defender on the field in last Saturday's A-Day Game, making a play in deep coverage on one snap and blowing up a screen pass the next.
2012 season: Led the Crimson Tide in interceptions with five. A starter in 10 games a season ago, Clinton-Dix recorded interceptions in each of UA's final three games.

7.] OG Anthony Steen (NR)
Spring forward: Ideally located between the Crimson Tide's new starting center and right tackle, the senior has taken on more of a leadership role in recent months. With Chance Warmack off to the NFL, Steen's talents will step to the forefront in 2013.
2012 season: Started all 14 games, giving him 25 starts for his UA career. Player of the week honors from UA coaching staff following wins over Western Carolina and Georgia.

8.] OLB Adrian Hubbard (NR)
Spring forward: Known more as a pass rusher, the athletic Hubbard also gets the job done in coverage. After posting respectable tackles for loss and sack numbers a season ago, needs to be more of a consistent force off the edge in 2013. Along with Mosley, he'll play a very large role in the defense's attempt to contain Johnny Manziel on Sept. 14.
2012 season: Led the defense in tackles for loss (11) and sacks (seven) as a sophomore. Made 13 starts at outside linebacker.

9.] DE Ed Stinson (NR)
Spring forward: Like Steen, Stinson is a candidate for permanent captain honors as a senior. And while much will be expected of Jeoffrey Pagan, Stinson has a proven track record as a play maker at end, something no other player at his position can speak to.
2012 season: Started all 14 games, recording 8.5 tackles for loss, the most by a player at his position.

10.] CB Deion Belue (NR)
Spring forward: Viewed as a weak link in the secondary a season ago, Belue showed on A-Day that he's ready to take his game to a level previously reached by the likes of Kareem Jackson, Javier Arenas and Dee Milliner. Looked much more confident and poised while working against Cooper and others in the spring's final scrimmage.
2012 season: Junior college transfer started all 14 games in his first year on campus. Two interceptions were tied for third on the team. Led all cornerbacks with 6.5 tackles for loss. One of two defensive players to score a touchdown in 2012.

11.] DE Jeoffrey Pagan (NR)
Spring forward: Up to this point, it's been about potential where Pagan is concerned. With Damion Square, Jesse Williams and Quinton Dial no longer in the rotation, it now needs to be about production. In addition to being stout against the run at end, should be able to give UA a solid interior pass rusher out of the dime rabbits package.
2012 season: One of the first options off the bench at defensive end, Pagan saw action in all 14 games, posting four tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

12.] WR Kenny Bell (NR)
Spring forward: With the competition Alabama has going at the wide receiver spot, it's not a given that Bell will start. But if he equals his yards per catch average from last season, who really cares?
2012 season: Led all UA receivers in yards per catch, averaging 25.4 yards per grab. Was on the receiving end of Crimson Tide's longest play from scrimmage, an 85-yard touchdown catch against Florida Atlantic.

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