Tide's McCarron declines invitation to Senior Bowl
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Jan 14, 2014 | 1899 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama's AJ McCarron will not play in the Senior Bowl. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Alabama's AJ McCarron will not play in the Senior Bowl. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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TUSCALOOSA ­— Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron has decided to not play in the Senior Bowl.

McCarron, a Mobile native, is choosing to focus solely on the NFL Scouting Combine, which will be Feb. 22-25 in Indianapolis.

“I really appreciate being invited to play in the Senior Bowl,” McCarron told al.com. “It is quite an honor and something I’ve dreamed about while growing up in the Mobile area. However, at this time, I’m putting all of my focus and energy into preparing for the NFL Combine, pro day and the rest of the pre-draft evaluation process. Therefore, I won’t be taking part in the Senior Bowl.”

The Senior Bowl, which takes place in Mobile, seems to be moving on without McCarron.

“AJ McCarron has declined our invitation to play in the 2014 Reese’s Senior Bowl,” Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage said in a news release. “We are very excited about the deep and talented roster of 100-plus players coming to Mobile.”

Speculation swirled that McCarron would decline the invitation because of a potential shoulder injury, but according to his father, Tony McCarron, that isn’t the case.

“His agent thought that was best,” Tony McCarron told College Football 24/7. “The reason AJ didn’t say anything for sure before the bowl game is because he had already decided to put that decision in his agent’s hands, but he didn’t know who that was going to be yet. But that’s the advice he got, and if you’re going to pay those people, you’ve got to trust them. All I can say is, the people who criticize it don’t have a thing to lose.”

Alabama’s previous three senior starters at quarterback came to the Senior Bowl with Brodie Croyle in 2006, John Parker Wilson in 2009 and Greg McElroy in 2011.

This season, McCarron became the first Alabama quarterback to pass for more than 3,000 yards.

With McCarron sitting out, Alabama will have four players in the Senior Bowl as C.J. Mosley, Kevin Norwood, Cody Mandell and Ed Stinson have accepted invitations.
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