It was the secret everyone knew about. Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, entered his name into the transfer portal.
That doesn’t mean he will leave Alabama, a player can remove his name from the database at any time, but now other programs are permitted to contact him and do not need permission. However, NCAA bylaws permit schools to pull the scholarship from the player at the end of the semester.
The younger of the Tagovailoa’s was a four-star recruit of Alabama’s 2019 recruiting class. He was the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Alabama. He had planned to redshirt his freshman season, but his brother’s season-ending injury forced him to burn that opportunity.
In five games, Tagovailoa completed nine of his 12 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Alabama was not able to have spring practice and there is no telling when fall camp will start. With Mac Jones likely the starter, and Bryce Young, the No. 1 quarterback and No. 2 overall player in the country coming in as a freshman, there is no room for a quarterback battle. It may be that Tagovailoa doesn’t want to waste another year of eligibility waiting his turn if that ever comes.
And even though many people think he will end up in Miami with his brother, that may not be the most realistic option. Miami is D’Eriq King’s program for now. And even though King only has one season with the Hurricanes, that system might not be the right fit for Tagovailoa. It would almost be catastrophic if he transfers to Miami and gets put into a situation like former Ohio State quarterback and five-star recruit Tate Martell.
Another obstacle is the number of scholarships available. Miami is currently looking at a pair of transfers from different positions, so Miami might not even have a spot for Tagovailoa.
If he wants to be near his brother, South Florida, Florida International or Florida Atlantic may be a better, more realistic landing spot. Given that FIU is a hotbed for quarterbacks, don’t be shocked if Tagovailoa ends up there or at least has conversations with the coaching staff.
According to FIU’s recruiting coordinator, Nick Stuhlmuller, the Panthers have had more quarterbacks drafted the past three years than any other school in the sunshine state including, Florida, Florida State, Miami, FAU and UCF.
Over the past five seasons, those five schools have had just one quarterback drafted—Miami’s Brad Kaaya, who was a seventh-round pick in 2017 to the Detriot Lions.
So, maybe, the Hurricanes wouldn’t be the best fit for him. In 2019 FIU upset Miami 30-24 with former Miami head coach Butch Davis.
Or, maybe, he could end up outside the state of Florida altogether.