Tagovailoa is a 6-foot-1, 220-pound freshman at Alabama who sits behind Jalen Hurts on the Crimson Tide’s quarterback depth chart. He’s seen action in six of Alabama’s game, largely in mop up time at the end of one-sided blowouts (Alabama has a lot of those, you know) with five touchdowns and a single interception.
Before he arrived on the continental mainland Tagovailoa was a jaw dropping breakout star at St. Louis in Honolulu, where he established himself as one of the nation’s foremost recruits in the Class of 2017. A five-star dual threat quarterback, he could throw, run and dissect defenses with an advanced eye, all traits that inspired Alabama coach Nick Saban to develop a very close relationship with he and his family.
In fact, that relationship became so tight that when Tua left to attend Alabama last spring, the family followed closely behind. One of those Tagovailoa’s was Tua’s younger brother, then sophomore quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, who moved with his parents to Tuscaloosa and enrolled at Thompson High School in nearby Alabaster for the 2017-18 school year.
Fast forward three months and the younger Tagovailoa is doing big things, like leading Thompson to an undefeated regular season. The final act in that 10-0 run came Thursday, when Tagovailoa led Thompson to a wild, 34-28 victory against a then 7-2 Hillcrest squad.
Tagovailoa passed for four touchdowns and 392 yards in the win, though he did also have three interceptions. One of those picks was clearly off a bad break from a tipped ball, as you can see in the highlights above. He entered the game with 2,553 yards and 25 touchdowns with just four interceptions, so the three picks in one game are clearly an aberration.
Perhaps most directly, however, the younger Tagovailoa’s star turn proves that there’s more than one elite quarterback in the family. Currently rated as a four-star dual threat recruit by 247Sports, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Tagovailoa has plenty of his brother’s arm strength, and maybe even more strength and elusiveness on the ground.
And he’s entertaining enough to draw a handful of Alabama’s best younger players to come watch him play, including his brother (of course) and fellow freshman and cross country Alabama recruit Najee Harris, as reported by AL.com.
Will the younger Tagovailoa end up at Alabama too? Only time will tell, but he certainly has the talent to succeed if he does follow in his brother’s footsteps.