Alabama put in true freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at halftime of the National Championship Game in favor of Jalen Hurts in order to jump start their offense. It was the first time Tagovailoa had played in a meaningful game for the Tide all season (he had served in mop up duty in various games this season), and he shined.
Tagovailoa completed 14 of his 24 passes for 166 yards, three touchdowns, and an interception, and he threw the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime to vault Alabama past Georgia 26-23.
The true freshman stole the show during the national title game. And now his younger brother is starting to get attention.
And Tennessee is one of those schools pursuing the younger Tagovailoa.
Taulia Tagovailoa is a fast-rising quarterback in the 2019 recruiting class. He’s a four-star quarterback according to 247Sports and is a borderline three-star/four-star according to their composite rankings. The Vols extended an offer to Tagovailoa on Friday afternoon, and they became the 10th school to offer him so far.
— Taulia Tagovailoa (@tauliaa12) January 12, 2018
Tagovailoa is a dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class who holds offers from Alabama, Florida, Oregon, Oklahoma State, and others. Right now, Alabama is the early favorite to land a commitment from Tagovailoa. And that makes sense considering his brother plays there and appears in line to be the starter for the 2018 season.
As a junior, Tagovailoa completed 287 of his 435 pass attempts for 3,820 yards, 36 touchdowns, and eight interceptions for Thompson High School in Alabaster, Alabama. He also ran for 155 yards and five scores on just 30 carries according to Max Preps.
Though a bit undersized by usual quarterback standards at 5-foot-11, Tagovailoa’s highlight tape shows off his speed and explosiveness while running. But he’s more than just a running quarterback; his film also displays his ability to throw accurately on the run and highlights his very strong arm. He throws a tight deep ball and is fairly accurate in almost all his throws. He doesn’t struggle throwing to any part of the field in his highlight film.
Tennessee will have to fight Alabama tooth and nail to land Tagovailoa. Any school will. The Tide will be heavy favorites to land Tagovailoa, and it will be an uphill battle for any school not named Alabama to get him in their 2019 class.