Alabama’s All-Time Passing Leader Joins a Restarting Football League
AJ McCarron, the starting Alabama quarterback from 2011-2013, has been drafted by the St. Louis BattleHawks, a team from the revived Xtreme Football League (XFL).
The Mobile, Ala. native was a four-star recruit coming out of St. Paul's Episcopal in the class of 2009. The fourth-best recruit in the state of Alabama stayed close to home and signed with Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
McCarron mainly sat behind Greg McElroy during his freshman year, but when McElroy declared for the NFL Draft, McCarron took charge of the Alabama offense. In three seasons as the Alabama starter, McCarron led the Crimson Tide to the only set of back-to-back national championships, in the BCS era. McCarron also won the 2013 Maxwell Award, the 2013 Johnny Unitas award, and became the Crimson Tide's all-time passing leader with 9,019 total passing yards.
The two-time national champion did not have the same luck in the NFL. McCarron was drafted in the fifth round by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014. He bounced around the league starting in 2018, seeing time with the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, and most recently the Atlanta Falcons.
Many fans thought McCarron was finally going to retire from football and settle down with his wife and raise a family. To the surprise of everyone, McCarron decided to put his name in the XFL portal and was eventually picked up by St. Louis.
The XFL is a spring league that can potentially earn players a spot in the NFL. The XFL was revived in 2020 by Vince McMahon, but did not last a full season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dwyane "The Rock" Johnson decided to give the XFL another try in 2021 and the league will start playing games in the spring of 2023. With the guidance of head coach Jonathan Hayes, McCarron could ball out and get NFL teams calling for his services.