McCarron makes Heisman finals, wins Unitas Award
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Dec 09, 2013 | 1988 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AJ McCarron is one of six Heisman finalists. (Photo by Bill WIlson)
AJ McCarron is one of six Heisman finalists. (Photo by Bill WIlson)
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TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron had a busy Monday.

He was named one of six Heisman Trophy finalists in the evening, which came hours after he won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

The Heisman Trophy will be presented Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

Alabama has had only one Heisman winner -- Mark Ingram, 2009. Alabama’s last Heisman finalist was Trent Richardson, who finished third in 2011. Before that, David Palmer (1993) and Jay Barker (1994) went in back-to-back seasons.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy,” McCarron said in a release. “This will be my first trip to New York City, and I can’t put into words how much it means to me.

"I am truly privileged to have the opportunity to represent our team at the Heisman ceremony. None of this would be possible without my coaches and teammates. The offensive line, wide receivers, running backs and tight ends have done an unbelievable job all season and our coaches always put us in a position to be successful.”

Along with McCarron, Jameis Winston (Florida State), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois), Andre Williams (Boston College) and Tre Mason (Auburn) were also named finalists.

As for the Unitas Award, McCarron found out by telephone in Tide head coach Nick Saban's office. The only other Tide quarterback to win the award was Jay Barker in 1994.

The winner must be a senior or fourth-year junior.

“It is an unbelievable honor to win the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.” McCarron said. “I can’t thank the Unitas family enough for selecting me as the 2013 winner. To have my name next to all of the great quarterbacks who have won this award in the past is truly an honor. I want to thank my teammates, Coach Saban and all of our assistant coaches for making this possible.”

The Unitas award will be presented Dec. 13 in Baltimore. It is named for Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas, who spent 18 years in the NFL.

Past Golden Arm Award winners include Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997), Carson Palmer (USC, 2002), Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003), Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007), Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009), and Andrew Luck (Stanford, 2011).

McCarron led the Tide to an 11-1 record and an appearance in the Sugar Bowl in his final season. He has thrown for 2,676 yards and 26 touchdowns while completing 67 percent of his passes.

He has a career record of 36-3 as a starting quarterback.

McCarron is also a finalist for the Maxwell Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Manning Award, the Senior CLASS Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year.
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