The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

November 20, 2013

Several talented QBs wrapping up careers in SEC

— COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — SEC fans should enjoy all the top-notch quarterbacks while they can because many of the great signal callers in the league won't be around for long.

A.J. McCarron, James Franklin, Aaron Murray, Connor Shaw and Zach Mettenberger are wrapping up their careers, and this could also be the last month to see Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel play in college. All but Franklin, who has been slowed by an injury, are semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award, given annually to the nation's top quarterback.

Mettenberger of LSU isn't sure that quarterback play will drop off in the league next year.

"No one thought that Johnny Manziel would do what he did last year, so who knows," he said. "There's a lot of good football players out there and that's why we have guys to recruit them."

Alabama's McCarron is in the final stretch of a perhaps one of the best careers by a quarterback in SEC history. McCarron has helped the top-ranked Crimson Tide to two national titles and is Alabama's leader in career yards passing and touchdowns. His 35-2 career record gives him a .946 winning percentage, the best for a quarterback in SEC history.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said McCarron has been a great addition since the moment he joined the program and that he's been impressed with how he's learned from all his experiences.

"I can't say enough good things about how he's done, and I think his record pretty much speaks for itself in terms of the success that he's had as a starter here," Saban said. "At the end of the day, that's what it's all about. And he's always represented the program here in a first-class way. I think he has been absolutely stellar."

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