TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — At this point, Alabama signee Tua Tagovailoa is more worried about getting acclimated to college life than a potential quarterback competition.
While many around him want to know how he plans to push returning starter Jalen Hurts, Tagovailoa is more interested in “finding himself” as a young man and a college student.
Tagovailoa, who enrolled in January, is a 5-star quarterback in the Crimson Tide’s 2017 class.
“I’m just trying to get settled with school so far,” Tagovailoa said. “This has been my fourth week. Still trying to get situated with everything before we even start to think that far. I’m just trying to worry about what I have to worry about. I’m going to let the coaches decide what’s going to be right, and we’ll go from there.”
Surprisingly, there was no big culture shock for Tagovailoa as he traveled the 4,200 miles from Hawaii to Tuscaloosa. The only difference has been the food, but Tagovailoa has enjoyed fried chicken and mac-and-cheese.
Tagovailoa (Ewa Beach, Hawaii/St. Louis) comes to Tuscaloosa as a decorated prospect. Tagovailoa was named the MVP of Nike’s 2016 “The Opening” as well as MVP of the 2016 Elite 11 quarterback competition.
He earned 2016 Gatorade State Player of the Year for Hawaii after throwing for 3,932 yards and 43 touchdowns as a senior.
Tagovailoa said Hurts success as a young quarterback last season didn’t scare him away from Alabama. He added that if Blake Barnett, Cooper Bateman and David Cornwell were all still at Alabama, he still would have come to Tuscaloosa.
“You got to go places to compete, and why not come to the best place?” Tagovailoa said.
Tagovailoa watched Hurts last season and was impressed by what Hurts was able to do as a true freshman.
Hurts was named SEC Offensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year. Tagovailoa praised Hurts for his intangibles and being a great player and person on and off the field.
“He’s an awesome guy,” Tagovailoa said of Hurts. “Talking to him, you can understand that he’s well-matured. He sounds like he has a strong, faith-based background with him. Overall great guy and great morales as well.”
4-star quarterback signee Mac Jones (Jacksonville, Fla./The Bolles School) and Tagovailoa will be available for spring practice so fans will get their first look at the young signal callers on April 22 when Alabama holds its annual A-Day spring game.
“He has a crazy arm,” 4-star wide receiver Tyrell Shavers said of Tagovailoa. “I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Watch Tagovailoa’s interview below.