Alabama routinely has one of the nation’s best defenses in the nation under Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, one of the best assistants in the country, and the secret to their success starts up front in the trenches. In the Crimson Tide’s 3-4 defensive front, the nose guard position is vital to the system, and Smart and Saban have zeroed in on two candidates to fill the position in the class of 2014.
Charles Mosley (Brighton, Tenn. Brighton) and Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky. John Hardin) are the top defensive tackle recruits that project as nose tackles in college. Both are four-star prospects and each is a load for opposing offensive linemen to handle. Mosley stands 6-foot-5 and tips the scales at 346-pounds. Elam is an inch taller at 6-foot-6 and a biscuit or two lighter at 342-pounds.
The duo both camped at Alabama this week and flat out dominated in the one-on-one drills, drawing praise from the Tide’s coaches. After their time in Tuscaloosa, both left with the two-time defending champions as the favorites.
Tennessee would appear to be the biggest challenger to Alabama for Mosley, and Kentucky the biggest threat for Elam. I’m predicting Mosley eventually will commit to Alabama after he goes through the recruiting process some more and take additional visits. However, I’m holding off on officially predicting Elam to head to Alabama for now because Kentucky has recruited him the hardest, and the in-state prospect will be tough to pry away from Mark Stoops without a fight.
The size is obvious when you see the two on the field, but despite their imposing stature, both have surprising explosiveness to go along with their off-the-charts strength. Elam doesn’t have quite the first-step quickness of Mosley and needs to improve his conditioning, but each can also rush the quarterback in addition of commanding double-teams and stuff the run.
If both commit to Alabama, the Terrence Cody comparisons will start before they hit campus, and I would like to wish opposing SEC offensive linemen the best of luck in blocking these masses of humanity.