Alabama’s McCarron keeps pledge with Heisman trip
AJ McCarron has helped Alabama reach several prime destinations,
from New Orleans to Miami and Southern California.
Now the third-ranked Crimson Tide’s quarterback, known for
national titles and winning 12 times for every loss, gets to see
New York for the first time – just the way he wanted.
”I’m a huge Yankees fan, and I said I would never go to New
York unless I was invited for the Heisman or for draft day,”
McCarron said. ”So one of those dreams came true. It’s just a cool
moment to be a part of.”
The NFL draft remains months away, but McCarron is one of six
Heisman Trophy finalists invited to Saturday night’s ceremony.
McCarron will be joined by fellow quarterbacks Jameis Winston of
Florida State, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and Jordan Lynch of
Northern Illinois. Auburn tailback Tre Mason and Boston College
tailback Andre Williams are also finalists.
McCarron is the one candidate largely judged by a career that
stands as perhaps the best among Alabama quarterbacks, a group that
includes Joe Namath, Bart Starr and Ken Stabler.
McCarron is 36-3 with two national titles as a starter and three
during his five years on campus. He holds Alabama’s career marks
for passing touchdowns and yards and total offense.
”I don’t think I need to state my own case,” McCarron said.
”I think if you look at my play over three years, I feel like no
quarterback in the SEC or the country has played as consistent as I
have. I think the numbers do the talking. When you look at my stats
against Top 10-ranked teams, I don’t think anybody’s stats compare
to mine. I just let my stats and play do the talking and sit by the
side. I guess.”
As a senior, McCarron has thrown for 2,676 yards with 26
touchdowns against five interceptions, while completing a
career-best 67.6 percent of his passes. He won the Johnny Unitas
Award as the nation’s top senior quarterback.
McCarron and the Tide fell short of another title shot with a
34-28 loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Chris Davis’ 109-yard,
last-play return of a missed field goal. He’ll finish his career in
the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma instead of a return trip to
McCarron isn’t fretting over the way the regular season
”I know this state and the South itself is a little crazy about
football, but I feel like I keep it in a good perspective. It’s a
game,” he said. “When it’s over and done with, I know what I left
out on the field and I feel like I played one of my hardest games.
We just fell short. Nothing you can do. You’ve got to move on and
live life and be happy, because life’s way too short to sit back
and think about what you should have done and be mad about
He’s at least New York bound, along with his parents, girlfriend
Katherine Webb, younger brother and teammate Corey and an uncle and
Pretty much the usual crew that are there to greet him after
every game, win or, less often, lose. McCarron said he’d have
someday gone to New York otherwise, but only when he could foot his
McCarron said he just smiled when he found out he was invited to
the Heisman ceremony. Parents Dee Dee Bonner and Tony McCarron were
”They were pretty ecstatic,” McCarron said. ”Mom and Dad were
both crying. Just happy. It’s a dream come true for them. That’s
the best part for me, that’s the most fulfilling part is watching
my little brother and everybody live their dreams through me.
That’s what I like most. I could care less about myself.”
He hasn’t spent much time watching football since the regular
season finale. McCarron said he saw much of the first half of the
Southeastern Conference championship game between Missouri and
Auburn, before heading to the mall with Webb for Christmas
He said the only time he has seen Winston, the Heisman
front-runner, play was when Corey McCarron’s Spanish Fort team beat
Hueytown in the 2010 state quarterfinals.
”I hate watching football, to be honest with you, unless I’m
getting ready to play, watching film on somebody,” McCarron said.
”All it does is it really ticks you off and makes you want to go
get better, really.”
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