McCarron in 2013.
|No. 5 Cincinnati Bengals|
|Date of birth:||September 13, 1990|
|Place of birth:||Mobile, Alabama|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||220 lb (100 kg)|
|High school:||Mobile (AL) St. Paul's Episcopal|
|NFL draft:||2014 / Round: 5 / Pick: 164|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
Raymond Anthony "AJ" McCarron, Jr. (born September 13, 1990) is an American football quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Bengals in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Alabama. Following the 2013 BCS National Championship Game against Notre Dame, McCarron became the first quarterback to win back-to-back consensus national championships in the BCS era. McCarron is one of only seven quarterbacks in history to win back-to-back titles in some form and the first quarterback to win back-to-back consecutive titles since Nebraska's Tommie Frazier in 1994 and 1995. In addition, since his freshman/redshirt year McCarron has been associated with three national title teams under coach Nick Saban: 2009, 2011, and 2012.
McCarron was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School from kindergarten to fourth grade before transferring to St. Paul's Episcopal School. At the age of 5, McCarron was severely injured in a jet-ski accident and almost died. He first played football at Trimmier Park and then Langan Park in Mobile. He played on the same park team as Mark Barron. During McCarron's junior season of high school, St. Paul's went 14-1 and went on to win the state championship against Briarwood Christian School off a missed PAT. While attending St. Paul's, McCarron was recruited by several football programs in the Southeastern Conference, including Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, and Tennessee. He committed to the Crimson Tide on May 3, 2008, becoming the only quarterback signed by Alabama for their 2009 recruiting class.
He capped off his high school football career at the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
In his first season at Alabama, McCarron accepted a redshirt and did not play during the season as the team went 14–0 to capture the 2009 National Championship. During his redshirt freshman year, he did see some playing time, appearing in nine games as the Tide finished 10–3. His first collegiate touchdown pass came during the season opener when he connected with wide receiver Julio Jones on a 29-yard pass. He passed for a total of 389 yards and three touchdowns during the season.
After a tight competition for the starting quarterback position during spring practices, McCarron was named as the co-starting quarterback alongside Phillip Sims for the team's 2011 season opener versus Kent State, and later became the de facto starter by starting in every game. In his first start in college, he passed for 226 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions as Alabama won 48–7. His first road start for Alabama came the following week, as the Tide traveled to State College, Pennsylvania. His performance of 163 yards with no turnovers helped Alabama defeat Penn State 27–11, which came to be the last loss for legendary head coach Joe Paterno. Another solid performance, alongside running back Trent Richardson, helped him get a victory in his first SEC start, a 38–14 win versus No. 14 Arkansas.
During the course of his sophomore season, McCarron led an 11–1 overall record during the regular season, including 7–1 record in conference. Alabama's only loss of the season came during a 6–9 overtime defeat at the hands of #1-ranked LSU. During the game, he completed 16-of-28 passes for 199 yards with one interception. By remaining unbeaten during the rest of the regular season, Alabama again met LSU at the Superdome for the national championship. His performance of 234 yards passing earned him Offensive Player of the Game in a 21–0 rout of the Tigers. During his first season as starting quarterback, he passed for a total of 2,634 yards with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions and a BCS National Championship.
McCarron had a strong start in his second year as starting quarterback for Alabama as the Tide started off the season with a 9–0 record. In his first five games of the season, he passed for 999 yards and 12 touchdowns with zero interceptions. His good start to the season, including a comeback victory over LSU, had several media members put him as a dark horse candidate for the year's Heisman Trophy. His first interception, and Alabama's first loss, of the season came in the team's 10th game of the season.
In their first year in the SEC, Texas A&M and eventual Heisman-winner Johnny Manziel came into Bryant–Denny Stadium and upset Alabama 29–24. His second interception of the game seemingly sealed Alabama's loss, as he threw an interception on a fourth & goal pass with under two minutes remaining. Both he and Alabama rebounded to remain unbeaten during the rest of the regular season, which led them to the 2012 SEC Championship Game versus Georgia. With the help of running back Eddie Lacy, Alabama battled with the Bulldogs to win 32–28 and earn a shot to play for the 2013 BCS National Championship against No. 1 Notre Dame.
On December 12, 2012, ahead of their game versus Notre Dame, McCarron announced that he would be coming back to Alabama for his senior season. On January 7, 2013, Alabama met Notre Dame for the 2013 BCS National Championship. The Fighting Irish were led by their defense and Heisman runner-up Manti Te'o to an unbeaten 12–0 regular season record. However, their defense was overmatched as Alabama rolled 42–14 to capture their third BCS National Championship in four years behind McCarron's 264 yards and four touchdown passes, which allowed him to become the first quarterback to win back-to-back BCS titles. During his junior season, he threw for a school-record 30 touchdown passes in a season, as well as 49 touchdown passes over his career. He was named winner of the 2012 CFPA Quarterback Trophy on January 22, 2013.
McCarron made the cover of Sports Illustrated 's October 30, 2013, edition, which asked whether he was one of the best college players ever. At that time, McCarron (whose team was 10-0) was a long shot for the Heisman Trophy.
As a senior in 2013, McCarron was again a second-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection. During the season he passed John Parker Wilson to become Alabama's all time passing yard leader. He also broke Greg McElroy's record for passing yards in a season with 3,063.
McCarron was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. In August 2014, the Bengals placed McCarron on the reserve/non-football injury list due to shoulder soreness, meaning that he would miss at least the first six weeks of the 2014 season. With Andy Dalton entrenched as the starting quarterback for the Bengals, and veteran Jason Campbell as his backup, the Bengals did not plan for McCarron to see significant playing time during his rookie season. On December 9, 2014 McCarron was activated after Vontaze Burfict was placed on Injured Reserve. 
- Lopresti, Mike (January 5, 2013). "McCarron: From brink of death to brink of back-to-back titles". USA Today. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- "AJ McCarron". Rivals.com. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- Estes, Gentry (May 3, 2008). "St. Paul's QB McCarron commits to Alabama". Mobile Press-Register. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- "Freshman would likely play if Tide's McElroy gets injured". Sporting News. January 7, 2010. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- "Player Bio: AJ McCarron". University of Alabama Athletics. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- Smith, Erick (January 7, 2010). "FINAL: Alabama beats Texas 37–21 for BCS national championship". USA Today. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
- "AJ McCarron Game by Game Stats and Performance". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "No. 1 Alabama runs wild on San Jose State minus Mark Ingram, Marcell Dareus". Associated Press (ESPN). September 4, 2010. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "AJ McCarron stats". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "AJ McCarron, Phillip Sims listed atop Alabama depth chart". Sporting News. August 29, 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "AJ McCarron leads No. 2 Alabama over Kent State". Associated Press (ESPN). September 3, 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "AJ McCarron calmly leads No. 3 Alabama past No. 23 Penn State". Associated Press (ESPN). September 10, 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Trent Richardson's big day helps Alabama overwhelm Arkansas". Associated Press (ESPN). September 24, 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Alabama 2011 Schedule". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "LSU kicks winning field goal in OT for defensive-minded win over Alabama". Associated Press (ESPN). November 5, 2011. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Alabama's D embarrasses LSU as five FGs, late TD seal national". Associated Press (ESPN). January 9, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "AJ McCarron Game By Game Stats and Performance". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- Fleming, David (November 14, 2012). "1 minute, 34 seconds". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- Scarborough, Alex (October 28, 2012). "McCarron marches on". TideNation (ESPN). Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M pull upset as No. 1 Alabama's rally falls short". Associated Press (ESPN). November 10, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- Vint, Patrick (December 1, 2012). "Alabama vs. Georgia: SEC championship preview, TV schedule and odds". SB Nation. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Alabama holds off Georgia, reaches BCS Championship Game". Associated Press (ESPN). December 1, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "AJ McCarron to Return for Senior Sseason at Alabama". University of Alabama Athletics. December 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- Greenberg, Steve (January 3, 2013). "BCS National Championship: Notre Dame defense bigger factor than experience". Sporting News. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- Reyes, Lorenzo (January 6, 2013). "Notre Dame's nation-best red zone defense does not budge". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- "Crimson Tide-Fighting Irish Game Review". USA Today. January 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- Low, Chris (January 8, 2013). "Life's good for AJ McCarron". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-01-09.
- Muma, Steven (January 7, 2012). "Alabama's AJ McCarron: Tide quarterback's stats, highlights and more". SB Nation. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
- "AJ McCarron guides Alabama to another title". Associated Press (CBS Sports). January 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
- Profile, rolltide.com; accessed October 24, 2014.
- Myerberg, Paul (20 November 2013). "‘Sports Illustrated’ cover asks: Is AJ McCarron one of the best ever? | For The Win". USA Today. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "2013 All-SEC Football Team Announced". SEC Digital Network. December 10, 2013.
- AJ McCarron passes John Parker Wilson as Alabama's career passing leader
- Alabama QB AJ McCarron breaks school single-season passing record in Sugar Bowl defeat, nola.com; accessed October 24, 2014.
- University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. "2010–11 Overall Individual Statistics". RollTide.com. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. "2011–12 Overall Individual Statistics". RollTide.com. Retrieved September 30, 2011.
- Wesseling, Chris (August 30, 2014). "AJ McCarron placed on Cincinnati Bengals' NFI list".
The team announced Saturday that McCarron will miss at least the first six games of the season on the reserve/non-football injury list.
- "He put a ring on it: AJ McCarron, Katherine Webb engaged".
- "AJ McCarron - Off the Field - Part 2".
- "AJ McCarron's Chest Tattoo Is More Wonderful Than Ever".
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