He is the greatest passer we have ever seen in Crimson, and one of the most genuine, optimistic, kind-hearted souls you will ever encounter. What happened to him yesterday was gruesome and unjust.
No matter how many national titles Alabama wins in the future, there will never be another Tua Tagovailoa.
The hype around the young man was out of control before he ever arrived on campus. Besides his reputation as a top flight passer, there was something special about him that affected most everyone he came in contact with. He made an immediate impact on Nick Saban, not for his play, but his demeanor.
We learned of his musical talents that year, too.
Of course, there can be no thread about Tua without mentioning the moment that made him a college football legend.
One of the more memorable moments of that game came after a turnover, when Tua put his arm around Nick Saban as if to console him. He undoubtedly apologized for the turnover, too. Tua’s accomplishments on the field are many: one SEC title and one national title, 69% completions for 7,442 yards and 87 touchdowns against only 11 career interceptions in 684 attempts.
Several local and national sportswriters have written about him since the injury.
Pete Thamel notes:
Off the field, he’ll be remembered for carrying himself with a regal grace. How many players have defining moments that come with cheering on a teammate who has replaced them because of injury? That’s exactly what happened in the SEC title game in 2018, as Tagovailoa emanated joy as Jalen Hurts rescued the Crimson Tide in the fourth quarter to topple Georgia. From monster start to painful finish, Tagovailoa has remained as classy as any star in the sport’s recent history.
From Aaron Suttles:
There will be plenty of time to wrestle with Tagovailoa’s legacy, but he will certainly go down as the greatest quarterback in Alabama history and among the best in SEC and college football history. Part of that legacy, too, will inevitability be his bad luck with injuries. Two ankle surgeries and a season-ending hip injury robbed him, and us, from Tagovailoa playing to his full potential. But when he was physically right, it was a beautiful sight.
Who knows what the future holds for Tagovailoa, but if he never dons a Crimson Tide uniform again, most will remember the ridiculous throws week in and week out that had us shaking our heads. His Alabama career will be remembered for so much more than second-and-26.
And last, Cecil Hurt:
What matters today is this. Football is a great sport that can also be a cruel sport. The warriors know the risks. On Saturday in Starkville, it was cruel — and what matters now is how Tagovailoa’s injury can heal, how his future can be as good as possible. Not whether Alabama “beats Auburn” or “makes the playoffs” or any of that. Save the cold calculations, at least for a day. Send hope in your own way, through prayer or simple positive thoughts.
“Don’t be sad because it’s over. Smile because it happened,” the adage goes.
Not today, Dr. Suess. The smiles can come later.
Be sad because it’s over. All football fans should be.
The whole thing is just heartbreaking.
Per Alabama team orthopedist Lyle Cain, Tua is expected to make a full recovery, and for that we are thankful. The rehab work is going to be long and difficult. It
will put his rookie season in the NFL, that should have been the best year of his life to date, in serious jeopardy.
No matter. If anyone can handle it, Tua can. He is the picture of humility and grace, the kind of person who is going to make an impact on the world no matter where life takes him. Here’s hoping that he achieves all of his dreams, on and off the field. We will certainly never forget him.
Thanks for the memories, Tua.