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Lane Kiffin: Tua Tagovailoa Was Probably "Silently Committed" To This School Before Alabama

Tua Tagovailoa dropping back to pass.

Alabama might not have gotten their star freshman quarterback if not for a coaching change.

Tua Tagovailoa might not be at Alabama if not for a head coaching move in the fall of 2015. A firing that season led him to more strongly consider the Crimson Tide.

ESPN recently published a "How Alabama got Tua" story, detailing how the Crimson Tide landed the top recruit. This comes about a week after the true freshman led Nick Saban's team to a comeback win in the national title game.

The crux of the story is this: many believed Tagovailoa, a Hawaii native, was a "silent commit" to USC. However, that was mostly due to his relationship to Steve Sarkisian. The Trojans fired the head coach in October 2015.

"A lot of people will tell you that Tua had been silently committed to USC back then when [Sarkisian] was there, so this thing is really intertwined," former Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin told ESPN.

The Trojans weren't the only program Tagovailoa had big interest in, too. ESPN reports that there was a time when he wanted to go to Oregon.

Tagovailoa, who was born and raised in Honolulu, attended Saint Louis School, the alma mater of Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. When Tagovailoa was in fourth grade, Mariota took him under his wing to give him quarterback tips, becoming an early mentor.

That relationship sparked an early interest in Oregon once Tagovailoa started his recruiting process.

Oregon, though, showed little interest in the Hawaii native. The Ducks pursued four-star Ryan Kelley and got a commitment from him. He's now at Arizona State.

Alabama, which once had a commitment from Jake Fromm, eventually turned its attention to Tagovailoa, and landed him. We don't have to say how happy they are that they did.