By: Jack Rothenberg
After spending just one season as the third string quarterback at Alabama, sophomore Taulia Tagovailoa announced on social media that he will be transferring to Maryland. Taulia, the younger brother of recently drafted Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua, sat behind his brother and sophomore Mac Jones during his freshman year. This was a big announcement, not only because of who Tagovailoa’s brother is, but because Taulia has potential and talent that he hasn’t been able to showcase on the college football level.
Tagovailoa received 10 Division I scholarship offers including Florida, Michigan, LSU, Alabama and Hawaii, but ultimately decided to follow in his brother’s footsteps by choosing the Crimson Tide. Last season, he appeared in three games for the Crimson Tide going 9/12 for 100 yards and one touchdown.
Taulia Tagovailoa started his high school career in Hawaii at Kapolei high school, but when Tua Tagovailoa committed to the Crimson Tide his family moved to Alabama. This led him to play his final two years at Thompson high school in Alabaster, AL. In those two seasons, Tagovailoa accumulated over 7,500 passing yards and accounted for 82 touchdowns. In addition, he also led Thompson to the Alabama Class 7A state championship game in 2018 and was ranked as the second best quarterback in the state of Alabama.
At first the decision puzzled fans as to why he would choose Maryland, but after taking a closer look there is a connection. Maryland head coach Mike Locksley served as Tua Tagovailoa’s offensive coordinator in 2018 and built a bond with the Tagovailoa’s. The family is obviously fond of Locksley and believes in what the coach is building in College Park. Tagovailoa transferring to Maryland undoubtedly has fans excited and that is always an important step in turning around a program.
The move was also essential for the team because before this, Maryland only had one quarterback in sophomore Lance Legendre on scholarship beyond the 2020 season. However, the transfer of Tagovailoa sures up the position for the future. Locksley expects that Tagovailoa will have to redshirt this season, but it’s a huge boost for the program and something to build off of moving forward.
Even though the transfer of Tagovailoa decreases the chances of the Terps landing Gonzaga quarterback Caleb Williams, this move illustrates why Maryland hired Locksley. His recruiting capabilities are being put on full display and this could be his best signing yet. Tagovailoa can apply for an NCAA waiver in order to play next season, but at this point, it is unknown if he will.
Tagovailoa expressed his excitement about joining the Maryland family on Instagram. “I’m grateful to Coach Locksley & the staff for giving me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get to College Park. God Bless & Go Terps,” Tagovailoa said.
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