McCarron will return for senior season

Quarterback AJ McCarron announced Wednesday afternoon that after much deliberation and discussions with his family and coaches, he will return to Alabama for his senior year.

A.J. McCarron is coming back to Alabama for his senior season.

The return was expected, but McCarron said he knew it was the right choice after discussing his options with his family and coaches.

"I had many goals for myself when I came to the University of Alabama," the quarterback said in a statement. "I have been lucky enough to achieve some of those goals, but some are still ahead of me. There were many factors in my decision to return to Alabama for my senior year."

The junior finished this season as the most efficient passer in the country (173.07 rating), completing 66.8 percent of his passes for 2,669 yards and 26 touchdowns (an Alabama single-season record) to just three interceptions.

Last year in his first season as a starter, McCarron was named MVP of the national championship. With the help of his leadership, the Crimson Tide has put itself in a position to win its third national title in four years.

"I love the University of Alabama, my coaches, my teammates and our fans," McCarron said. "I am excited to have the opportunity to play with my brother (sophomore tight end Corey McCarron), continue to grow as a leader, continue to help our team win football games and develop even further as a quarterback.

"The NFL has long been a dream, but I think another year at Alabama can only help my chances of being successful at the next level."

McCarron is as confident as players come (sometimes to the point of arrogance) and his teammates love and believe in him. His favorite saying is, "Take what the defensive gives you and eventually they'll give you the game," which is something he's done well this year.

McCarron is always quick to give the credit of his successes to his teammates, especially his offensive line. But next season, he'll be without three of his five starting linemen as center Barrett Jones, left guard Chance Warmack and right tackle D.J. Fluker will head to the NFL.

Having a veteran quarterback next season will benefit Alabama greatly.

"He's done a great job for us and has really grown, not only as a quarterback and a player, but as a leader for our team," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said in a statement. "Like I've said before, we want to help our players make sound decisions when it comes to what is best for their future. Our goal at Alabama is to help our guys develop a career off the field be graduating, become the best football players they can be during their time here, and try to win a championship while preparing them for the possibility of playing in the NFL.

"We're excited to have him back for his senior season."

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