The Genesis Of: Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa’s name is all over the place today — probably because he nailed the game-winning throw to win the national football title for Alabama. It’s college football’s biggest game winner since Doug Flutie’s touchdown-winning throw for Boston College in 1984.

Not only was Tagovailoa the freshman QB, he was a backup all season. He also sat on the bench in the first half of the title game. What’s even more interesting is that he wasn’t even supposed to go to Alabama. Born in Hawaii, many thought the 5-star recruit would end up at USC. But he chose Tuscaloosa, which was about as far away from his home as possible.

“You can’t really lose yourself if you’re a kid from Hawaii going to Alabama,” he explained. “Things down here in Hawaii are similar to Alabama. We go to church every Sunday. People are treated like family there just like here.”

Tagovailoa is the all-time leader passer in Hawaii high school history, throwing 8,158 yards. He was also one of the top QB recruits in 2017. But he didn’t play too much in his first college season, only getting “mop-up” duty while backing up Jalen Hurts. But with Alabama losing to rival Georgia at halftime, coach Nick Saban gave him the chance to save the day, which he definitely did.