In a surprise move to very few, Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa has entered his name in the transfer portal. Whose idea it was, we may never know. Regardless, it didn’t take spring practice to see that he was still number three on the depth chart despite the fact that his brother Tua Tagovailoa had left the building.
If there was a silver lining to the injury of Tua, it was a chance to see Mac Jones in non-mop up/non-cupcake duty. The rising redshirt junior established himself as the front-runner after his performances upon becoming the starter late in the 2019 season.
At that point, Taulia was the number two. Then, the nation’s top-ranked quarterback Bryce Young signed with the Tide in December. Without taking a snap, many observers anointed him as the No. 2 (or 1a) right on the spot. Young could have moved up a notch if not for cancellation of spring practice, and very well may do so in the very near future. With a two-way quarterback battle at top that did not include him, chances of “Lia” seeing meaningful playing time at the Capstone diminished a considerable amount.
Early in January, Tua gave a telling interview with Dan Patrick in which he asked why he chose Alabama over Southern Cal. With a pinch of passive aggression, the former Tide signal caller replied “that’s a great question. I think that’s one for my dad.” Tua and Lia’s dad, Galu, is a very controlling father and husband who has made many decisions for his sons. Had Tua had more say in his college choice, he might have ended up a Trojan. Similarly, Lia might have landed in Baton Rouge - and possibly could have been the front-runner for the Tigers’ job heading into this season.
Assuming he receives a transfer waiver like everbody else not named Jahvon Quinerly has been getting, where might Taulia end up?
Red Stick is still a possible target. Myles Brennan is not giving too many SEC defensive coordinators sleepless nights. However more likely, Galu will once again uproot the family to be near Tua. Remember, that he oddly moved the entire family from the paradise of Ewa Beach, Hawaii to the small southern town of Alabaster, AL when Tua signed with the Tide.
With big brother Tua going to the Miami Dolphins, you can expect to see a “For Sale” sign in the front yard of the Tagovailoa’s Alabaster home and moving trucks heading to south Florida. Many fans have suggested the quarterback black hole of Miami as a landing spot. For the Hurricanes, underwhelming QBs N’Kosi Perry and Tate Martell are both back. There would be a battle, but Lia could beat either of these guys out. [Related: Could, or SHOULD, Miami pursue Alabama QB transfer Taulia Tagovailoa?]
As it stands right now, Lia does not appear to be an NFL-caliber quarterback. He could find his way to the league at another position, but that doesn’t mean he can’t lead a FBS team to an abundance of wins as a quarterback. However, it might be on a non-Power 5 team.
- Dillon Gabriel is the returning starter as a rising sophomore for UCF. Scratch that one.
- Blake Barnett is finally out of eligibility at USF. Another rising sophomore, returning starter Jordan McCloud, is penciled in as the No. 1 for the Bulls but could be overtaken.
- Two year starter and rising junior Chris Robison is probably not losing the job at FAU. Should he go pro after this season, that could open the door in 2021.
- FIU simply does not sound like an attractive place to play, but who knows?
Will someone (Lia? Tua? Mama Tago?) stand up to Galu and let Taulia make his own choice?
- As a recruit, he was looking at many schools including Hawaii. What better place for him to play then this pass-happy school in his old stomping grounds?
- Nobody has mentioned Georgia Tech, so I will. The Yeller Jackets are trying to undo an era of the triple option malaise that Paul Johnson poisoned Grant Field with. Tech could use this kind of shot in the arm (oh, sorry. that’s Clemson) for their program. Also, Atlanta might be close enough for the puppetmaster.
- Wake Forest is looking for a QB...
RETURN TO ALABAMA
It should not be forgotten that Taulia is a talented quarterback. Alabama did not take him because of the name on the back of his jersey. Should he choose to return, he will be given every opportunity to make his way on the field. A position change might be best. Could safety be a spot for the 5’11”/208 Lia? That might take time to learn but it could be a path to the NFL. H-back or even tailback could be possibilities as well. Or he could just ride it out as a back-up QB.
Where do you see Lia landing?
This poll is closed
A Florida non-Power 5
Other (see comments)