Weeks after Tua Tagovailoa became a top five pick from his stint at Alabama, his younger brother Taulia Tagovailoa is moving on from the program. He is set to play for former Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley at Maryland.
Ultimately, the decision came down to playing time. Mac Jones looked pretty decent stepping in for Tua after his injury in Alabama’s game against Mississippi State. He’ll have to beat out freshman Bryce Young, the No. 2 player in the 2020 recruiting class and top quarterback in the group.
It became very unlikely that Taulia Tagovailoa would get a great shot to start for the Crimson Tide. Like so many other former blue-chip quarterbacks who were passed on their depth charts, he hit the transfer portal. Now, he has the opportunity to play for a familiar coach at a Power Five school.
“It’s really tough and it’s nothing against Alabama,” his father Galu Tagovailoa told AL.com. “But my boys are competitive and Lia is such a competitive kid. And he wanted an opportunity to compete. He was told that he was going to come in and compete and he didn’t really get that opportunity, so he wanted to use the spring to do that.”
— Taulia Tagovailoa (@tauliaa12) May 15, 2020
Tagovailoa’s father thinks the ongoing health crisis played a pretty big part in how things played out. Taulia didn’t have a major chance to compete for the job with practice shut down in the spring, and thrown into question this summer.
“With the COVID-19 thing going on, he didn’t really have the opportunity to compete. He’s a competitor. He likes to work. He likes to compete on the field. And just, going into the season this year, he just felt that he wasn’t given that opportunity and he wants to take it somewhere where they’re going to give him the opportunity to make the best of his skill set.”
While Locksley didn’t coach Taulia directly, he helped recruit him to Alabama, and Tua had a very good experience with him in Tuscaloosa. That match makes a ton of sense.
“But we’re so grateful and thankful for Coach Saban, Ms. Terry, their family, Coach Sark and the entire coaching staff,” Galu Tagovailoa continued, making sure that it was clear that there are no hard feelings. “I wish he could finish his career with Coach Saban, but I totally understand. I’m a parent and we just want what’s best for our kids.”