Alabama fans count former quarterback AJ McCarron as one of the school’s greats, and it’s tough to argue with the current NFL backup’s college accomplishments: Back-to-back national championships, two All-SEC selections, a Maxwell Award and a Heisman Trophy nomination among them.
In 2013, Sports Illustrated’s L. Jon Wertheim even wondered if McCarron was the best quarterback to ever play college football.
That kind of legacy does not fade easily, and Crimson Tide fans will get a blast of nostalgia when McCarron’s younger brother, Corey, steps back onto the Bryant-Denny Stadium turf this Saturday.
The younger McCarron transferred from South Alabama to Alabama in 2012, and played three years before finishing his undergraduate degree this spring. Over the summer, he opted for one more year of football elsewhere, and enrolled at Middle Tennessee as a walk-on tight end.
Blue Raiders’ coaches swear they’re not looking for a leg up in the scouting department before this weekend’s game in Tuscaloosa.
“Alabama can give us their playbook,” head coach Rick Stockstill told AL.com’s Michael Casagrande. “All that stuff, I think, is overrated. We don’t have him up here, we’re not up here asking him what does coach (Lane) Kiffin do? What does coach (Nick) Saban do? What does Kirby (Smart) do? It’s none of that. We’re preparing as coaches. We’re going to prepare our players from what we see on film. That’s what’s important to us.”
The 6-foot-2 senior played sparingly on the Blue Raiders’ special teams units and saw a few snaps at fullback in MTSU’s first game, a 70-14 thumping of Jackson State on Saturday.
That’s more game action than he typically saw at ‘Bama, where he only caught one career pass: a three-yard completion from his brother in 2013.
“We truly loved the coaches at ‘Bama and the coaching staff and we’re thankful for everything he learned from them,” his mother, Dee Dee McCarron, said. “This was just a personal decision that he had to make and he’s having a great time at Middle Tennessee and enjoying it.”
The game kicks off at 3 p.m. CT on the SEC Network. Alabama took the schools’ most recent matchup — a 26-7 win in 2005 — and owns a 2-0 all-time series record.