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AJ McCarron, Alex Rodriguez spoke before Iron Bowl


AJ McCarron, on top of both his game and the world as a Heisman Trophy finalist, took a phone call from perhaps the most embattled athlete in all of pro sports a couple of weeks ago as the Crimson Tide prepared to play rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl. New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, fighting a Major League Baseball-record suspension of 211 games, spoke to the fifth-year senior quarterback before the Tide's 34-28 loss.

"It's almost like living in a dream in a way because I've met guys that I've watched and watched coach for so many years," McCarron said, according to "Now I'm talking to them on the phone and meeting them in person. It's just pretty surreal."

McCarron has been projected as a first-round draft pick next spring by NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks.

Trevor Moawad, whom McCarron said does mental-conditioning work with both the Tide and Yankees, arranged for the phone conversation. McCarron met Yankees manager Joe Girardi in August when Girardi joined a daily array of notable speakers Saban arranges for the team during fall camp. McCarron later learned Girardi had used his infamous public scrape with teammate Barrett Jones on a national-championship stage to inspire the Yankees.

"(He told them) that's the passion they need within their club again and stuff like that. It's just pretty crazy that they've watched me before and are fans of me," McCarron said.

McCarron might not be in Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel's league when it comes to rubbing elbows with entertainment-industry stars, but he appears to be gaining on him.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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