Alabama target Tua Tagovailoa’s Twitter bio doesn’t have how many offers he holds, and it doesn’t include his junior season highlights. Don’t even think about asking whether or not he has the fact that he is the nation’s No. 2 dual-threat quarterback.
His Twitter bio is all of two words: “God first.”
Tagovailoa, a four-star prospect from St. Louis High School (Honolulu), comes from a very religious family. When asked what would be the biggest reason for why he would commit to a school, Tagovailoa was quick to answer.
“The biggest thing I look for in coaches at these schools are their beliefs,” Tagovailoa told SEC Country.
That’s actually one of the reasons why Alabama made Tagovailoa’s top eight schools, which includes Ole Miss, Texas A&M, USC, UCLA, Washington, Arizona and Hawaii. When talking about Alabama, Tagovailoa went back to his Twitter bio phrase.
“Coach Saban has talked to us and his beliefs are God first before anything,” Tagovailoa said. “Every school is going to have good academics. Every school is going to have good football. But when you have a coach like Saban, who believes in God and is a defending champion, that makes it even more special.”
Even though he plays his high school football more than 4,000 miles away from Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tagovailoa pays attention to Alabama.
Tagovailoa, who threw for 2,916 yards and scored 35 total touchdowns his junior season, has especially been focusing on Alabama since he was the first quarterback the team offered after the de-commitment of Jake Fromm, who flipped to Georgia.
“I didn’t even know I was in Alabama’s range to get offered. It says a lot for them to go this far for someone like me,” Tagovailoa said. “I really do take this into consideration because it’s something that is very meaningful because Nick Saban has taken almost everyone that he has recruited to a national championship. That says a lot about his program.”
If Tagovailoa were to end up at Alabama, it would not be the first time the Crimson Tide got a star from the west. The odds-on-favorite to start for Alabama this season, sophomore Blake Barnett, played his high school ball in California.
He’s open to leaving the Pacific coast, too.
“(My family and I) have to really sit down and talk about it if Alabama is the place for us,” Tagovailoa said. “I’m really just trying to enjoy the process now. We have one more year. We have a long time until decisions have to be made.”
A decision could come before his senior season begins in August, but he did say that it’s possible it extends past that.
Even if he commits this summer, he wants to take all five official visits, and Alabama will be one of the schools he sees.
“Oh yeah, most definitely,” Tagovailoa said when asked if Alabama will get an official visit. “It’s just a special place to be at. Kids from Hawaii don’t really get the chance to take trips like that to the east coast because we usually don’t get these offers. I just want to see more of what Alabama has to offer now.”
The Hawaiian QB has never been to Alabama before. He said the only thing he knows about the school is, “I just know that they go to the championship almost every year.”
The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder recently said USC is his “dream school” and that the Trojans lead for him. But when asked if Southern California was still on top, Tagovailoa attached a qualifier.
“Yeah, but you have to realize that (Hawaiian prospects) usually only get offers from West Coast schools, and you just come to expect that,” Tagovailoa said. “But with something like Alabama, knowing that I am so far out of their boundaries, it’s kind of crazy. When I got offered, it was something really big for me and our school.”
So to be clear, does Southern California still have the advantage now that Alabama is in the picture?
“You can say that, yeah, but I still have to take my trips, so yeah,” Tagovailoa said.
You can also say that Alabama has made a significant impression on the Hawaiian quarterback.
All ratings and rankings are from the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.