BEAVERTON, Ore. — One of the first things Alabama quarterback commit Tua Tagovailoa shares with recruits when he introduces himself is his faith in God.
“I feel like that’s my duty,” Tagovailoa told SEC Country at The Opening, the premier summer camp for high school football players, which is held at Nike’s world headquarters.
Tagovailoa recalls a recent conversation he had with one of the Crimson Tide’s top targets at wide receiver, 4-star Devonta Smith. The pair didn’t talk much about football and X’s and O’s, but rather what their favorite scriptures are.
“Devonta and I have talked about our faith and gotten to connect spiritually,” Tagovailoa said. “We have built a good relationship now because we have similarities when it comes to our love for God.”
Smith, who will announce his commitment on Aug. 15 and choose from Alabama, Miami, Nebraska or Mississippi State, recalls the conversation vividly, too. The nation’s No. 10 wide receiver said that conversation made him feel more comfortable with Alabama because he knows he’d have a teammate to lean on.
“He’s a very inspirational person. He’s very uplifting,” Smith said. “I have never heard him be negative. Everything with him is just positive. (The conversation) was really good because it let me know that my possible quarterback is someone that won’t talk down on no one and will always pick them up.”
Tagovailoa is usually positive no matter what the situation is. When he was a sophomore at Saint Louis School in Honolulu, Tagovailoa entered the season as the backup quarterback to a senior. He wanted to take the starting job, so Tagovailoa turned to scripture for guidance.
The nation’s No. 2 dual-threat quarterback shared with Smith that the story and how his favorite scripture, 1 Corinthians 2:9, which reads, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him,” helped him.
“I came into that season with that scripture and I thought to myself if God is this or God is that — if I go into any game knowing that I have God in my heart, I know I can do anything,” Tagovailoa said. “I am trying to please an audience of one. That’s only for God. I did that. God took over. Like his words say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared,” now look at where I’m at thanks to the man upstairs.”
Tagovailoa is hoping to be crowned the Elite 11 MVP this week at The Opening and you can guarantee that he’ll be thinking about 1 Corinthians 2:9 for guidance before he takes the field.
All rankings are provided by 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.