AJ McCarron says Alabama players in his day were ‘built different’ versus now

When the most successful quarterback in Alabama football history has a perspective on the NCAA transfer portal, it’s good to listen.

AJ McCarron won three BCS National Championships while in Tuscaloosa, including two as the Crimson Tide starter in 2011 and 2012. McCarron is Alabama’s all-time career leader for passing yards (9,019) and second for passing touchdowns (77). ). He received first-team All-American honors and won both the Maxwell and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Awards in 2013. McCarron, a native of Mobile, Alabama, had an interesting thought on college football’s transfer portal culture.

He was verbally whipped multiple times by Coach Nick Saban, and Saban slapped his butt as a backup quarterback.

McCarron never let Saban’s tough coaching run away from him. He accepted, and that made him one of the most popular winners in school history. Will Lowery, McCarron’s former teammate, commented on a video on Twitter of Saban beating up McCarron on the sidelines after a game. Lowery said if Saban or any other coach did that now, the quarterback’s name will be on the transfer portal before the game is over. McCarron reminded his former teammates that boys were “built differently” in their era.

He said, “Only a few kids are built like us now.”

“I didn’t want to go anywhere,” McCarron said. “I had to prove shit and win rings!”

McCarron played with a passion and intensity that compelled others to respect him. He showed Saban that he was the best quarterback for the Tide at the time. Alabama is beginning to recruit players who have McCarron’s mindset for Classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024. Saban needs to restore the culture’s harshness, and that starts with finding guys with McCarron’s mentality.

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Stephen M. Smith is the senior editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him. Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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