The Alabama Crimson Tide will be lead by the ever popular A.J. McCarron on Monday and it will be the second straight year that he’ll be doing so. But had doctors not saved his life back in 1996, we may never have seen McCarron grow up to become the star quarterback of the Crimson Tide.
McCarron was 5 years old in 1996, but on August 4th — a Monday– he was fighting for his life, bleeding to death after having the left side of his face crushed in a jet-skiing accident while vacationing with his family. McCarron’s younger brother Corey recalls the accident that alomst ended the life of his older brother and robbed the world of a great talent.
“I was next on the WaveRunner that day,” Corey said. “I was with my grandpa in the car and I was waiting my turn. And they never came back. I remember I was grabbing the door in the hospital room not wanting to leave, and my mom was trying to get me out.”
Corey says that at age 4 he didn’t fully grasp what was going on inside his brother’s hospital room, but when doctors gave grace news to his worried mother, Corey began to put the pieces together: his older brother and backyard football pal, was dying and could be handicapped from that point on.
“They told my mother he might die. They said he would be mentally handicapped. They said he would be blind,” Corey said. “Now he’s the quarterback at Alabama. I think it’s a miracle.”
A.J. survived the accident and didn’t suffer any debilitating long term mental effects. Last winter, Corey –who is a college tight end– announced that he would be transferring to Alabama to play with his brother. He didn’t play any downs in 2012 but is expected to see action next year. According to A.J., his brother is one of the main reasons he’s staying another yea with the Tide.
“That’s one of the big reasons I’m staying around next year.” A.J. said. “I think he has a great opportunity to play, and hopefully we’ll be able to relive some moments like we did when we were young.”
Now, on a Monday over 16 years after tragedy almost ripped the McCarron brothers apart, they are back together and ready to Roll Tide.
“I know my mom’s cried like eight times already, seeing us together here.” Corey said of being together with A.J. in Miami ahead of the BCS National Championship game. “I have to sit back and look at this as a gift from God.”
A.J. McCarron continues to live a life that can’t be scripted, and we’ve only just tasted the beginning of what has so far been an amazing ride for the McCarron brothers.