It appears Alabama might not have a Tagovailoa on its 2020 roster after all.
Various media outlets reported late Friday night that quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of former Crimson Tide star quarterback of Tua Tagovailoa, has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.
Taulia Tagovailoa, a freshman last season, was No. 3 on Alabama’s quarterback depth chart most of last season and appeared to remain No. 3 to most observers for the upcoming season behind Mac Jones, who started the last three games last year, and highly-regarded incoming freshman Bryce Young, rated the nation’s top dual-threat QB in the country and the nation’s No. 2 player overall by Rivals.com in this past year’s recruiting class.
While a player submitting his name to the transfer portal doesn’t guarantee a move, it is usually an initial step to a transfer to another school. Early speculation has the 5-foot-11, 208-pound Tagovailoa possibly heading to south Florida to either Miami, Florida Atlantic or Florida International, allowing his family to be close to Tau Tagovailoa, who was the Miami Dolphins’ first-round draft pick April 23. Central Florida and South Florida have also been speculated as has Maryland, which has former Tide offensive coordinator Mike Locksley as head coach.
The younger Tagovailoa could also withdraw his name from the portal and return to Alabama without losing his scholarship.
A former 4-star recruit out of Thompson High School in Alabaster, Taulia Tagovailoa was rated the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the country and No. 8 player overall in the state of Alabama in the 2019 recruiting class.
He came to Alabama as the Tagovailoa family relocated to the state while he was in high school. The Hawaii native became the first high school QB in the state to have four 400-yard passing games in his career. He also led Thompson to the 2018 state title.
He was expected to redshirt at Alabama last season, but a season-ending hip injury to his brother, Tau, forced Tide coaches to change the plans. Jones moved up to the starter’s role and Tagovailoa moved to No. 2, seeing action in five games. He completed 9-of-12 passes for 100 yards with one touchdown during his limited playing time. He rushed one time for minus 2 yards.
Taulia’s departure leaves the Crimson Tide with three scholarship quarterbacks in Jones, Young and redshirt freshman Paul Tyson, who played in one game last year.
Three Tide players have already transferred this offseason — running back Jerome Ford (to Cincinnati), offensive tackle Scott Lashley (to Mississippi State) and cornerback Nigel Knott (to East Carolina). Cornerback Scooby Carter and tight end Giles Amos are also in the transfer portal.