A fan had a chance to ask Nick Saban this question and got back this answer:
“AJ has been trained to be a good leader and the players love him,” Saban said. “Football’s important to him. I wouldn’t even know he was dating anyone if you didn’t tell me that because he’s there every day doing what he’s supposed to do. He really is. I have no question about that.”
Given how much AJ has been in the news since the BCS title game vs. Notre Dame, I think this is a fair question.
The answer, given by coach Saban, shouldn’t be surprising, either.
In my opinion, this is one of the top issues heading into the 2013 season. Well, not so much is there “a process to keep AJ focused,” but rather, will all of this stuff add up to a distraction.
My opinion right now – and how’s this for wordsmithing? – is it won’t be a distraction unless it becomes one. This will be AJ’s third season as the starting quarterback at Alabama. He was a highly recruited player out of high school. He’s been part of three national championship seasons and he’s also been a part of an under performing team. He’s also been a key part of winning two BCS title games. A huge part. To sum it up, he has more experience than most people will ever have.
By the evening of September 14, 2013, after games against Virginia Tech and Texas A&M – we’ll know how this season will go. Cruise past these two games and it’s business as usual. Stumble in either of these – or, horrors, both – and McCarron will see pressure like he’s never seen it and we’ll see blamed pile up on the off-season activities.