Dec. 13, 2013
BALTIMORE - University of Alabama senior quarterback AJ McCarron accepted the 2013 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Friday evening at a ceremony at the Embassy Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor & Grand Historic Venue.
McCarron, from Mobile, Ala., joins Jay Barker as the only Alabama players to capture the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (1994). McCarron won the Maxwell Award on Thursday evening in Orlando, the first Alabama player to capture that award.
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. 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 travels to New York City on Saturday morning as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He was also a finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year. He is still a finalist for the Manning Award, the Senior CLASS Award.
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.
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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