Dec. 9, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama's senior quarterback AJ McCarron was named the winner of the 2013 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award on Monday morning.
McCarron, from Mobile, Ala., learned of his selection by phone from John Unitas Jr. and Raymond Berry in head coach Nick Saban's office. McCarron joins Jay Barker as the only Alabama players to capture the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (1994).
"It is an unbelievable honor to win the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award." McCarron said. "I can't thank the Unitas family enough for selecting me as the 2013 winner. To have my name next to all of the great quarterbacks who have won this award in the past is truly an honor. I want to thank my teammates, Coach Saban and all of our assistant coaches for making this possible."
The Tide's signal-caller has been a part of as many national championship teams (3) as career losses with a 36-3 record as Alabama's quarterback, which is the most wins in school history and the third most in SEC annals. McCarron also has seven career victories against top 10 teams and won two BCS titles as the starting quarterback.
He is completing 67.6 percent of his passes (207-305) this year for 2,676 yards, 26 touchdowns and five interceptions in 2013 while ranking eighth nationally in passing efficiency (165.9) and 14th in completion percentage.
McCarron is also a finalist for the Maxwell Award, the Davey O'Brien Award, the Manning Award, the Senior CLASS Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year.
Candidates for the Golden Arm Award - which has been presented at the end of each college football season since 1987 - must be college seniors or fourth-year juniors on schedule to graduate with their class. In addition to the accomplishments on the field, candidates are judged on their character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, and leadership qualities.
The 2013 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, Dec. 13, in Baltimore, Md., at the Embassy Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor & Grand Historic Venue (formerly The Tremont Grand). NFL Hall of Famer, former Baltimore Colt, and the great Johnny Unitas' favorite target - Raymond Berry - will deliver the keynote remarks at this year's Golden Arm Award ceremony.
Past Golden Arm Award winners include: Peyton Manning (Tennessee, 1997); Carson Palmer (USC, 2002); Eli Manning (Ole Miss, 2003); Matt Ryan (Boston College, 2007); Colt McCoy (Texas, 2009); and Andrew Luck (Stanford, 2011).
The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history. Johnny Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing figures include 2,830 pass completions for 40,239 yards, 290 touchdowns and throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games. Unitas was inducted into Pro Football's Hall of Fame in 1979.
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