Tua Tagovailoa is facing some lofty expectations in Tuscaloosa when Alabama’s season kicks off in 2018, but former Tide defensive back Vinnie Sunseri just brought that to a new level.
Sunseri joined WJOX in Birmingham Thursday, and the lead topic was Alabama’s supposed quarterback battle. Sunseri is already on the record saying he doesn’t think there is a battle, but he’s taken that a step further.
“I think we all know who the starting QB will be in September,” Sunseri said. “I think it’s Tua. What he did in the National Championship Game says a lot about his tenacity and what kind of competitor he is.
“From what I saw and what I heard down at the Sugar Bowl, Tua Tagovailoa can throw the rock. He was throwing people open. He was throwing back-shoulder fades against Minkah Fitzpatrick and Levi Wallace. These are guys gonna get drafted. And he wasn’t afraid.”
The ex-defensive back added why he believe’s Tagovailoa will eventually nail down the starting job, and it comes with some serious comparisons.
“They keep calling him Russell Wilson 2.0, but I think he’s a combination of Russell Wilson, Johnny Manziel and Baker Mayfield. I think he’s all three of them put together, which is the best combination of the kind of people you want.”
Those three quarterbacks have a Super Bowl and two Heisman trophies between them, so Tagovailoa has a lot of work to do to get to that point. But if the Alabama QB can take the best parts from that trio — Wilson’s athleticism, Manziel’s flare and Mayfield’s leadership — then look out, college football.
All three of those quarterbacks also have one main thing in common: the ability to extend plays with their feet. That skill is becoming crucial, and Wilson, Manziel and Mayfield demonstrated that trait at an elite level while in college. For Wilson, it’s translated to the NFL.
You can listen to the full interview with Sunseri here: