Taulia Tagovailoa has left Alabama and it came at no surprise. In the middle of a global pandemic, with no spring practice, no spring game and no telling when fall camp will start, it was time.
Alabama will forever cherish the Tagovailoa’s. Tua beat out Jalen Hurts. He won a national championship and set multiple school and national records. One may argue that no other Crimson Tide player has ever made the impact that he did on the program.
But for Taulia, he will be remembered for his high school career and for being the younger of the two. In Alabama, he threw for 71 touchdowns in two seasons at Thompson and was named 7A Quarterback of the Year in 2018 and 2019 by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. Taulia threw for 13,577 yards and 135 touchdowns in high school.Embed from Getty Images
But with his brother being drafted by the Miami Dolphins, he no longer wants to be at Alabama. Do you blame him?
Mac Jones was likely the starter, Bryce Young, the backup and a battle between Taulia and Paul Tyson–the great-grandson of the late Paul “Bear” Bryant– for the third spot. It is fair to think he did not want to waste another year of eligibility.
And that’s ok.
Alabama should be good without Taulia. Now, he can be a quarterback outside of his brother’s shadow.
He joins a Maryland team coached by Mike Locksley, the former Alabama offensive coordinator and the coach who initially recruited him. He will have Rakim Jarrett, the No. 4 wide receiver nationally, No. 1 wide receiver in Washington D.C. and the No. 27 overall player.
He has the talent. He has a coach that believes in him. Now, he needs to deliver.
Some have questioned whether or not he should have been at Alabama. Both Tagovailoa’s had dreams of playing at the highest level, but they often made decisions with the family. Staying at Alabama, he would have forever been compared to his brother, regardless of how well he performed.
It’s hard being a little brother. Being Tua’s brother is even harder.
But despite living in the shadows, during Alabama’s season opener verse Duke, Taulia, with 5:03 left in the game and the Crimson Tide leading 35-3, handed the ball off to Jerome Ford for a touchdown. He celebrated. He was flexing towards the sideline. In his first collegiate game, he led a scoring drive. His older brother was there—the first to congratulate him before he had to hold the PAT.
That’s something they’ll have together for the rest of their lives. Nothing will ever take that moment away—no amount of distance. No matter where their journey takes them. They played college ball together.
In Alabama, the Tagovailoa’s are royalty.
Tua is the Hawaiian prince.
Taulia was supposed to follow.
That’s how it always will be.
His family lives in Alabama.
But it was time to say goodbye.