When four-star quarterback and current Alabama commit Taulia Tagovailoa visited Tennessee’s campus for a couple days in mid-June this summer, he caused quite a stir among both the Vols’ and Bama’s fan bases. And he was asked about that visit and his commitment status with the Tide at Nike’s The Opening Finals this weekend.
Per a report from AL.com, Tagovailoa spoke with reporters on Saturday, and they asked him if his visit to Tennessee meant anything and if the Vols were in the process of flipping his commitment.
According to Tagovailoa, Tide fans need not worry.
“Yeah, I’m 100 percent committed to Alabama,” Tagovailoa responded.
Taulia is the younger brother of current Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Taulia’s older brother burst onto the scene last year with Alabama during the National Championship game when he replaced starter Jalen Hurts in the second half and sparked the Tide’s offense. Alabama scored all 26 of their points after Tua took over, and he completed 14 of his 24 passes for 166 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception against a stout Georgia defense.
Right now, Taulia is forging his own path. But seeing what his brother did in the title game and his career thus far at Alabama was one of the reasons he decided to go ahead and commit to the Tide back in April of this year.
“Just seeing my family happy and seeing what Tua did in the national championship and just seeing the work ethic over there and the environment over there,” Taulia said when asked why committed to Alabama.
So if he is so committed to Alabama, then why did he visit Tennessee in the first place? According to Taulia, he and his family have a strong relationship with Vol head coach Jeremy Pruitt and new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tyson Helton. And Taulia’s father really wanted him to visit Knoxville.
“It’s something my dad wanted to do,” Taulia said of his visit to Tennessee. “If my dad wants to do it, I’m going to support him.”
As a junior last season, Tagovailoa completed 66 percent 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. He helped lead his school to 12 straight wins before falling to eventual Class 7A champion Hoover in the playoffs.
Taulia may say he’s fully committed to Alabama still, but that won’t stop Pruitt and his Tennessee staff from continuing to pursue him. The Vols will try their hardest to flip the younger Tagovailoa brother, even if he insists Alabama has his pledge.