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January 7, 2021

Dylan Moses

Grapevine, Texas, USA

Alabama Crimson Tide

CFP Media Conference

Q. How old were you when you started playing football, and how would you describe your athletic journey now that you've made it to the National Championship game?

DYLAN MOSES: I started football when I was like seven years old. Ever since then I was always like best player on the field. I played running back and linebacker growing up. It was fun for me growing up and it's fun for me now, so being able to play on this big stage now is a dream come true.

When I was a kid I used to always turn on College Gameday every Saturday. The first thing I'd do is wake up and watch that.

Being able to play in the National Championship, like I said, is a dream of mine.

Q. Dylan, when you look at the way this Ohio State rushing attack has changed throughout the year, not only Trey Sermon but the offensive line, what do you see that they've gotten better at and what are the biggest challenges of this attack on Monday?

DYLAN MOSES: First and foremost, I think that Ohio State has a really great offensive line. They open up the holes for their running back, Trey Sermon, to get through, and I feel like that's why he's had the majority of his successive on this offensive line, and I feel every great running back will say that about the guys up front.

But as far as like for us, I feel like that's one of the main things we have to worry about, is trying to make Ohio State one-dimensional and stopping their run game, because that's something that's really important just as far as the success.

Q. You opened up recently about some of the difficulties you faced in 2020, both from a family standpoint and a football standpoint. How much will that weigh into any decision that you might have about potentially taking advantage of extra eligibility for college?

DYLAN MOSES: As of right now I'm just trying to focus on the championship game. I'm not really worried about anything afterwards. I'm just going to take it one day at a time. After the game is over with, whatever happens, happens.

Q. How much pain were you in this season, and when, if ever, did you get back to 100 percent? And from your recruiting standpoint, from the time you were recruiting, what have you done to kind of block out some of the criticism that you've received online?

DYLAN MOSES: Just as far as going through pain and stuff throughout the year, the first time I felt like 100 percent myself was the very first game of the season against Missouri.

After that just all throughout the season it was just constantly like pain and all that. But like I said, it was something I had to persevere through. I never had to go through a whole season feeling like that. It was new for me. But at the same time it wasn't nothing I couldn't play through.

Like I said, I'm really tough when it comes to dealing with a lot of pain and all that, but at the end of the day, I just wanted to be there for my teammates, make a difference, and be able to make the calls for them.

Q. What led you to kind of open up and let people know what you're going through? And secondly, has that, all that stuff, missing last season, has that made being here just even that much more special?

DYLAN MOSES: Oh, yeah, of course. It made it that much more special.

Like I said, at the end of the day I just really wanted to be there for my teammates. Like I said, for that post that I made, it wasn't for me or for anybody to feel like any sympathy towards me.

It was really for those people out there going through the same thing that I was going through and thinking about giving up and just showing that we're human. Like everyone who plays football or a professional sport or collegiate sport, we're all human. We go through the same things.

So me putting that out there, that was for other kids or other athletes that are going through what I'm going through and showing that they can make it through.

Q. I can't help but want to ask your impressions of what you've seen out of Justin Fields and really the offensive line in particular, as well, there at Ohio State.

DYLAN MOSES: I've been watching Justin Fields since he came out of high school. I always had high praise for him. He kind of reminded me of a young Cam Newton or something like that. The dude has a lot of great talent. He can deliver the ball to his receivers, has a strong arm, athletic. He's everything that you want in a quarterback.

Like I said, we respect him, and like I said, we're going into the game confident and knowing that this is going to be a great challenge.

Q. Throughout this year we've seen some younger guys step up on your defense, like Malachi Moore and Will Anderson. What has it been like serving as a role model and a leader to some of the younger guys on this defense?

DYLAN MOSES: It means a lot to me, man, because I remember when I was a freshman and needed that guidance or needed an older guy to give me that extra nudge just to have confidence to go on the field. And just knowing that someone older believes in you and knows that your athletic ability is good enough to be in this defense and play, it means a lot. So I try and stick my neck out a lot for the guys.

And as far as like just the freshmen in general, there's a lot of guys that just in general that -- I'm sorry, I lost my train of thought.

But yeah, just as far as like the freshmen and stuff, we try and keep them grounded and knowing that you can be successful playing in this defense.

Q. How would you describe the last two years? You obviously missed all of last season, and this year you talked about how tough this year was, losing your grandmother and the pain you played through and now you're at this point. What have the last two years of your life been like?

DYLAN MOSES: It's been a lot of ups and downs, but at the same time, that's life. Everything is not going to be picture perfect, but it's blessings within everything. Everything happens for a reason, and I'm grateful to be in this position with my teammates. This was something that I was looking forward to, knowing I would come back and all of that.

Being here and being able to be part of this historic team, it means a lot to me.

Q. Just kind of touching on a question that was kind of already asked, but Coach Saban mentioned that whenever you step on the field you kind of give the rest of the team around you some electricity. Knowing that your coach thinks so highly of you, does that give you any more motivation to play, or does it help you kind of stay grounded when you're out on the field?

DYLAN MOSES: Oh, yeah, it helps me a lot. Like I say, with Coach Saban having those feelings about me it's a great feeling, because like I say, I've been knowing him since I was in the eighth grade and he recruited me out of middle school.

For me and his relationship, it's like kind of like a great uncle or something like that. So for him to feel like that about me, it means a lot.

Me knowing that about myself, that I can affect the guys around me, makes me feel even better and more motivated to even go out there, just have my presence around them. For me to be like that for my teammates, like I said, it's a blessing.

Q. I was just wondering, in terms of overall big picture, anything changing preparation-wise to limit Ohio State's rushing and passing attack?

DYLAN MOSES: No, we're just breaking down their offense just like we would do any other offense. We're not trying to change anything or trying to do anything out of the ordinary.

For us it's just -- because like at the same time, I think my defensive coordinator may have mentioned it, a lot of teams do a lot of copycat from other teams that we may have played previously or things that worked on us before, so we try and stay ahead or prepared in that category.

We're just trying to be ready for the game.

Q. How do you think your 2017 class would view itself differently if it helps win a second National Championship?

DYLAN MOSES: Oh, man, I don't want to step on nobody's toes, but like I said, I feel like our class is one of the best ones. We had a lot of talent in that class and just a lot of guys that you see now that's in the league and guys now that's leaders on this team.

We've carried a lot of weight, and I'm proud of the guys that was in this class. I'm just happy to say I'm a part of it, because, like I say, it was a lot of great talent, a lot of great people, players and everything. So I'm just proud to be able to be a part of it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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