A.J. McCarron: ‘I’ve loved every minute’ of St. Louis football ride

A.J. McCarron: ‘I’ve loved every minute’ of St. Louis football ride

ST. LOUIS – A college football star nearly a decade ago, A.J. McCarron is once again making a name for himself as a spring football standout.

McCarron led the St. Louis Battlehawks to their fourth consecutive victory on Sunday in the 2024 UFL season. Halfway through the regular season, his 10 touchdowns lead the league and his 1,051 passing yards rank second.

McCarron was also St. Louis’ primary quarterback last year during the XFL rebirth. McCarron told FOX 2 Sports Director Martin Kilcoyne during Sunday’s Sports Final that he’s grown fond of St. Louis.

“For me, it’s wanting to be a part of this community as much as possible,” said McCarron. “The people here have been unbelievable, not only for myself, my family, but us as an organization as well. I’ve loved every minute of it. I’d like to be a part of this community for awhile.”

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McCarron also confirmed a report from earlier this year suggesting that if he would return to the spring football scene that it would only be with St. Louis.

“There were definitely things to talk about, but if I did come back, I told AB [head coach Anthony Becht] and people part of the XFL that I would only come back and play for St. Louis,” said McCarron.

McCarron started nine games for the Battlehawks during last year’s XFL reboot. During his first go-around, he led the XFL with 24 touchdowns and a 108.4 QB rating, also finishing second with 2,150 passing yards.

From there, McCarron earned another NFL opportunity with the Cincinnati Bengals and enjoyed limited action over two games last year. This follows a run of 17 games with three teams over parts of two seasons, mostly in reserve quarterback roles.

McCarron feels his latest NFL run wouldn’t have been possible without his work in St. Louis.

“It meant a lot for me mentally,” said McCarron. “Coming off the ACL tear in 2021, really proven to myself again that ‘Hey, you can go out and play out at a high level,’ but also showing teams in the NFL, ‘Hey, I’m healthy, I can get back playing the way I was.'”

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McCarron, a former Alabama star and Hesiman Trophy runner-up, also reflected on his college days with decorated coach Nick Saban, who just retired from coaching the Crimson Tide after the 2023 season.

“It was great. Our relationship was different than with anyone else he’s ever had,” said McCarron. “It was more of a father-son type relationship. I spent a ton of time with him. … He’s a legendary coach, probably the greatest of all-time. He’s achieved everything he ever set out for. I’m happy he gets to relax. He deserves that time.”

McCarron tells FOX 2 he really studied the work of Brett Favre when he was young. His mindset with the Battlehawks this season is to “win each day.”

The Battlehawks will host the Houston Roughnecks at 2 p.m. Saturday. Their next game broadcast will be on FOX 2.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to FOX 2.