Alabama senior quarterback AJ McCarron has quite a life.
McCarron has won two National Championships, just finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting and by all accounts still has a very attractive significant other.
But despite all the glitz and glamour that comes with being the face of the Crimson Tide’s football program, McCarron seems to have a terrific grasp on what his role means in the larger community.
Sometimes that means posing for photos, other times that means attending charity fundraisers. Or sometimes, as he found out this season, it means simply offering a fellow Alabama student a ride home.
WTVM-TV, the NBC affiliate in Tuscaloosa, ran a story this week detailing the Alabama quarterback’s relationship with AJ Starr, a die hard fan of Alabama football who also suffers from cerebral palsy.
As the story goes, McCarron was finishing up practice when he noticed Starr trying to motion for a bus as it passed the practice facility. The driver of the vehicle didn’t stop, and as it began to rain, McCarron decided to offer Starr a ride home himself.
The two instantly formed a bond, and as the senior quarterback put it, the ride left a lasting impact on him.
“He got out of the car and I just started ballin crying, I mean I couldn’t handle it anymore,” McCarron said. “I called Joe Pannunzio, who is our Director of Football Operations here, and I told him the story.
“I said, ‘Is there any way we can get him a job here?’ He called me back the next day and told me that [AJ] was going to help in the equipment room getting all the stuff ready for the games.”
While Starr doesn’t get paid for the job, he said having the chance to be around the players on a daily basis means the world to him.
“I’m so thankful for AJ and all this organization has done for me,” Starr said. “Every time I come in, no matter how bad my day is, or what I may go through with my challenges, when I come here it goes out the window, you know. I’m probably the happiest man on this planet.”