Stepping in for an ineffective Jalen Hurts and throwing the winning touchdown pass in overtime to win a national title for Alabama will remain the greatest moment of Tua Tagovailoa’s life for a long time. It almost didn’t happen.
Frustrated because he felt he’d outplayed Hurts in practice all season long yet was never given the opportunity to start by head coach Nick Saban, Tagovailoa revealed that he had made his mind up to transfer if he didn’t play by the last game of ‘Bama’s season in a speech at his former high school in Hawaii. That last game just so happened to be the National Championship.
“Even throughout my football season, I wasn’t the starter,” Tagovailoa said, per Hawaii News Now. “I wanted to leave the school. So I told myself, if I didn’t play in the last game, which was the national championship game, I would transfer out. If I gave in, I don’t think I would have seen the end blessing of where I am now.”
He even went as far as to call his dad and ask if his scholarship offer to play at USC was still available. His parents told him to push through. Now, Tagovailoa has a shiny championship instead.