A Different View Of AJ McCarron

In five previous installments, we have heard from former Alabama quarterbacks on how they view the very public position of leading the Crimson Tide, and, also, how they have observed the latest at the position, AJ McCarron. Now we get perspective on McCarron from two women who see AJ the man.

The most notable thing about A.J. McCarron is that he has quarterbacked Alabama to back-to-back national championships and is back for a final season to have a chance at making history, becoming the first to quarterback a college team to three consecutive national championships.

Last year he became the all-time Crimson Tide leader in career passing touchdowns with 49 and also became the single season record-holder at Alabama as he threw for 30 touchdowns. Against that, he was intercepted only three times in 2012. That's a primary reason he was the national leader in passing efficiency. He has thrown a Bama record 291 consecutive passes without an interception.

Here is the sixth in a series in which we see how other special people see the position of Bama quarterback and, more important, how they see Alabama quarterback A J McCarron:

There is no one who watched McCarron's Crimson Tide dismantle Notre Dame in last January's BCS National Championship Game who isn't aware that Katherine Webb, Miss Alabama USA of 2012, is the Bama quarterback's girlfriend. Katherine was in the stands, sitting with McCarron's mother, Dee Dee Bonner, and with Alabama running away with the game against the Fighting Irish, television gave the women plenty of air time.

In our previous installments with former Alabama quarterbacks, we asked what being the Alabama quarterback meant and how those former Tide quarterbacks judge McCarron. Our questions for the women were different.

First, from Katherine Webb:

What is the one thing that impresses you about AJ McCarron on-the-field?

"AJ always finds ways to impress me and he doesn't even know it. To me, I just know AJ as the goofy, fun, loving, yet attractive man that I'm in love with, so a lot of the time it's hard for me to remember he is the QB for the number one team in America. I can admit to you that I am still getting used to looking around in a stadium full of people and knowing thousands, even millions of people are watching him and the team play on television back home. It's a weird feeling to sit back and watch knowing how much pressure he is under and how easy he makes it look. Although, I secretly find it really sexy when I see him yelling and taking control over his o-line before his center snaps the ball when he's on the field. I think it shows his masculinity and how confident and powerful he is as a leader. As a girl, I love that."

What should people know about AJ McCarron off-the-field?

"His obsession with clothes, shoes, and watches is unreal!. He has to have a pair of shoes to match every outfit. Me, being involved in pageantry and modeling never in a million years thought I'd be with a man that has twice as many more shoes and clothes put together than I do. He also loves when I make him home made Bluebell Oreo ice cream milkshakes. He deserves it after how hard he works. AJ loves kids. He wants 5 of his own! I love watching him play with younger kids and watching the little kid come out of him too. I think it's so incredibly sweet. Overall, AJ is one of the most kind-hearted yet strong and confident people I know. He is going to be a really good husband and father one day as well as a leader and role model for younger kids."

What does it mean for you to be dating the University of Alabama quarterback?

"I have always been attracted to the ‘Alpha Male' type when I've been involved romantically with a guy. Partially because my Dad reflects an Alpha Male in my family. He owns his own business, leads, protects and provides for the family, strong, confident yet passionate and driven and not afraid to show emotion when he needs to. That is what first attracted me to AJ when we met, but his personality and his heart sealed the deal for me. Honestly, I could care less if he was the quarterback for the number one team in America. At the end of the day, it's who he is as a person that I love the most."

McCarron and his mother, Dee Dee Bonner.
And from Dee Dee Bonner, mother of AJ McCarron:

What does it mean for you to have your son play the position of quarterback at The University of Alabama?

"I'm proud of him. Our fan base is passionate so it comes with a lot of pressure. Having been one of those Alabama fans in the past who has yelled at the quarterback as the Mom of a quarterback now, I have a new perspective of that position. Even in park ball I got a different perspective when you start to realize that the quarterback was someone's child and you're saying, didn't you see the receiver is open. When AJ was in high school I took up photography and went down on the field to shoot photos so I didn't have to hear the comments in the stands. At Alabama I don't have that luxury so I have to sit in the stands and learn to bite my tongue should I hear something said around me. I think AJ has handled it very well. It comes with so much pressure. He takes it to heart. He is a team guy first so he carries the weight of wanting to do for everybody else. He wants to make the coaches proud and have everybody else be successful for them as well on his shoulders. That is something he really wants to focus on for this coming season. He does not want to let anyone down or see any drop off. He has talked of the dynasties falling at other schools in the past – Miami, Florida State, Notre Dame and USC. They all went through it. His big thing is it doesn't have to be this year. They can keep working hard. That is his level of dedication. He stayed up there to play with his brother again and maintain that leadership role going and trying to stay dedicated. I'm so proud of his work ethic and trying to keep everybody focused and the pressure he takes on so well. I wish I handled the pressure half as well as he did."

What is your opinion of AJ as a quarterback?

"It's a little hard to take the Mom opinion out of it but I think he is a little underrated with the title of a game manager. Just because the offense at Alabama rarely throws the long ball doesn't mean he lacks the ability. He did it in high school. I'm looking forward to him proving his doubters wrong. He has all the tools and tangible ability there to make it at the next level. I think he has excellent footwork. He is a student of the game. He loves to study film and learn. If he doesn't know the answer or something comes up on the field where he can't read a defense then he is going to look to the sideline for Coach Saban or somebody out there to help him. He loves the game and wants to know everything. He loves to be able to read the defenses and be very well prepared going into games. When he first got to ‘Bama they knocked him on his footwork. His footwork has developed through the years where he is so much more fluid and unbelievably better. Coach Nussmeier has improved upon the progress that occurred under Coach McElwain the past few years. His fakes and reads have gotten so much better every year. I can't wait to see what he does this year. As a quarterback he has continued to improve every year. I think he has everything to make it the next level. It should be an interesting ride this year."

What one thing impresses you about AJ?

"His natural leadership and the ability to stay calm are the most impressive things about AJ. I think he has a maturity beyond his years and I think that helps. Any NFL team scouting him will look at those qualities and not worry about bringing someone into the organization that is a distraction to your team."

What should people know about AJ off-the-field?

"Outside of his shoe fetish? He has a shoe addiction. He has a love to give back to people. He has a weakness for kids with cancer. He looks forward to when he has the ability to start a charitable organization to aid kids with cancer or injuries. He will be able to fulfill another one of his dreams. I know he would take another national championship over winning a Heisman. Just to be mentioned, he feels honored."

Above: The day mom dropped off AJ at UA. She described it as her favorite one and the one that makes her cry.

*All photos courtesy of Dee Dee Bonner and Katherine E. Webb.

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