Tuscaloosa, AL (Sports Network) - Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron will return to school for his senior season.
McCarron leads the nation in passing efficiency with 26 touchdowns and three interceptions. The junior quarterback passed for 2,669 yards while guiding the Crimson Tide to a 12-1 record this season.
Alabama will face Notre Dame in the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game in Miami on Jan. 7.
"I had many goals for myself when I came to the University of Alabama," McCarron said. "I have been lucky enough to achieve some of those goals, but some are still ahead of me. There were many factors in my decision to return to Alabama for my senior year but, after talking with my family and coaches, I knew it was the right choice for me.
"I love the University of Alabama, my coaches, my teammates and our fans. I am excited to have the opportunity to play with my brother (sophomore tight end Corey McCarron), continue to grow as a leader, continue to help our team win football games and develop even further as a quarterback. The NFL has long been a dream, but I think another year at Alabama can only help my chances of being successful at the next level."
McCarron's 45 career touchdown passes ranks second in program history while his 24 wins are tied for fifth and his .923 winning percentage as a starter is second among Crimson Tide quarterbacks.
"We are pleased that AJ has decided to return for his senior year next season," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. "He's done a great job for us and has really grown, not only as a quarterback and a player, but as a leader of our team. Like I've said before, we want to help our players make sound decisions when it comes to what is best for their future. Our goal at Alabama is to help our guys develop a career off the field by graduating, become the best football players they can be during their time here, and try to win a championship while preparing them for the possibility of playing in the NFL.
"AJ has great support from his family and the people around him. He showed very good maturity in looking at all of the factors and making an informed decision on his future. He has a chance to add to what he has already accomplished here while also better preparing himself for the next level. We're excited to have him back for his senior season."
The Crimson Tide will begin practice for the title game on Dec. 18.