1. He has two rings as a starter and might get a third.
In 2011, AJ McCarron vaulted himself into college football immortality by becoming the first sophomore quarterback to lead his team to a BCS National Championship. Last season the Crimson Tide repeated the feat, throttling Notre Dame en route to a second-straight crystal football with McCarron at the helm. And guess what: Alabama has the inside track to go back to the title game yet again, with what Roll Bama Roll says might be Alabama's best team ever.
2. He's not just a "game manager."
McCarron's strengths lie in controlling the offense and smart play, and that usually points to the label of "game manager"—which is often a euphemism for "noodle-armed mediocre QB on an otherwise talented team." McCarron's legit, though: he shredded LSU's vaunted secondary in the 2011 title game, and he led the nation in passer efficiency last season. He's not some Ken Dorsey clone; McCarron can make basically any throw on the field and can win games with his arm.
3. He's a survivor—just like Starla Chapman.
In Week 1, College GameDay profiled AJ McCarron's story as a five-year-old patient at South Alabama Children's and Women's Hospital after a freak head injury in a waterskiing accident. He was touring that same hospital on Christmas Eve in 2011 when he struck a friendship with young Starla Chapman and her family. Chapman is a leukemia survivor.
You can see her wristband on McCarron's wrist on Saturdays now, and you'll probably see it on Sundays, too. It's a wonderful, heartwarming story in a sport that's more full of them than you'd think.