McCarron's Legacy Includes Maxwell

AJ McCarron did plenty of things successfully at Alabama, but he added another honor to his list of late while receiving the Maxwell Award. was there for the latest with the record-setting quarterback, additional recipient David Cutcliffe and Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski.

Sixty years has passed since a cinematic classic, "On the Waterfront," captured the miraculous transformation of a New Jersey dock worker. Two-time Oscar Award winning actor Marlon Brando's character, Terry Malloy, ascended from the self-proclaimed "bum" reputation to the movie's heroic figure after appearing as a witness before the Waterfront Crime Commission. His courageous testimony caused the demise of the powerful organized crime connected union boss.

A parallel metamorphic change occurred for the Alabama quarterback wearing no. 10 in Tuscaloosa. A.J. McCarron was ushered onto the stage of college football christened with the "game manager" tag by media types and experts. The mere mention of the characterization caused the Mobile native to bristle. Two consecutive BCS National Championships and multiple school records later, the three-year starter launched into the gridiron stratosphere above the perceived earthly moniker. One by one he persuaded the detractors with a superb display of leadership, athletic skill, and superior execution.

Twenty-two hundred football fields south from the perilous location of Hollywood's dramatization in Hoboken, McCarron was celebrating at the Revel Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City for winning. Public ceremonial acknowledgement for the exceptionally talented and accomplished quarterback was the reason, not luck at the gaming tables. Friday evening at the 77th Annual Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala the crowd hovering near 1,100 strong in attendance at the formal affair applauded Alabama's first ever Maxwell Award recipient, quarterback AJ McCarron.

First bestowed in 1937 to Yale University two-way back Clint Frank, the honor recognizes the College Football Player of the Year. The Philadelphia based organization billed as the oldest football club in America has over 800 voters comprised of 700 plus members along with NCAA Head Football Coaches, sportswriters, and sportscasters from around the country. McCarron is the 30th quarterback to receive the prestigious award.

McCarron and girlfriend Katherine Webb.
Former Syracuse quarterback and 1987 Maxwell Award winner, Don McPherson, broached the sensitive two-word description, game manager, before making the presentation. "What is great about this young man and all the stats and all the numbers will tell you and all the criticism he got that he wasn't the best player in his own huddle because he played with this great Alabama team and he played for a great coach…..he managed that team. What else do you want your quarterback to do," he emphatically declared. "That's why we love Peyton Manning because the way he manages the games, the way he respects the game. That is AJ McCarron. It annoyed me all year long when I heard everyone talking about all these other players. He (McCarron) won two -- two -- national championships."

Every signal caller must balance the ultra-confidence required to lead a team with a proper dosage of humility. McCarron mustered the correct amount in the acceptance speech. "I know my name is on this award like Mr. Don (McPherson) said. I don't think I'm the best player on my team. I know it's an individual award but at the end of the day it's really not. My teammates helped me achieve so much throughout my career. I can never thank them enough."

The 1997 Maxwell Award winner Peyton Manning nearing the end of an illustrious professional career received the 55th Annual Bert Bell Award for Professional Player of the Year on Friday, his third time. A unique feature of the Maxwell Football Club is they honor and promote all levels of the sport – high school, college and professional. Two former University of Alabama legends have received the Bert Bell Award – Kenny Stabler (1976) and Shaun Alexander (2005). Also on Friday evening, current Duke University Head Football Coach and University of Alabama graduate (1976), David Cutcliffe was the 23rd Annual George Munger Award recipient as College Football Coach of the Year. Former University of Alabama Head Football Coach Gene Stallings won the award in 1992.

Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski directed a not so subtle reference to the Heisman Memorial Trophy trustees in New York City. "We are a club with a chip on our shoulder," said the former NFL quarterback and current ESPN talent evaluator. The MFC selected the perfect recipient to embody the, I'll prove I'm worthy attitude in the feisty, self-assured McCarron.

After lodging on the 41st floor of the property with a breathtaking view of the coastline, McCarron pledged a return to the annual event if the Maxwell Football Club and Revel Casino and Hotel reciprocate with similar accommodations – high in the sky. Entering the NFL next season, the first team All-America is motivated to earn more than just a room with a gorgeous view on his next visit to the resort city on the shores of New Jersey. He created a legacy surpassing all prior Crimson Tide quarterbacks. Ironically his game managing abilities contributed to the legend of the inaugural University of Alabama Maxwell Award winner, AJ McCarron.

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