Alabama senior quarterback AJ McCarron is on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated. (Al Tielemans/SI)
While quarterback AJ McCarron may not generate the same level of Heisman Trophy hype as counterparts Johnny Manziel or Jameis Winston, the Alabama star was recognized with another honor this week. As he continues his quest for a third consecutive BCS title, McCarron graces the cover of the most recent issue of Sports Illustrated.
McCarron has won 35 games over the course of his Crimson Tide career, and he has passed for 2,228 yards with 21 touchdowns and five interceptions in 2013. Still, in some circles, the senior is labeled as a "game manager." Writes executive editor L. Jon Wertheim:
“McCarron might be almost as well known for his arm candy as his arm strength, his body ink as his body of work. But let’s be clear: He’s not just one of the great Alabama quarterbacks. AJ McCarron is on the short list of the most successful players in the history of college football. Even if not many think of him that way.”
In the story, Wertheim explores the dichotomy between McCarron's reputation in Alabama and across the nation, touching on his high-profile relationship with Katherine Webb and his leadership role in the locker room.
"By conventional metrics, McCarron is not going to elevate eyebrows. He will not often throw for 300 yards, the way, say, Manziel, Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater will. He's not a dual threat.
"Then again, if you want to build a case for McCarron, you could do worse than starting here: He has as many national championships as he does defeats."
Following last Saturday's 20-7 victory over Mississippi State, 'Bama is 10-0. It closes the regular season with matchups against Chattanooga (Nov. 23) and rival Auburn (Nov. 30).