Taulia Tagovailoa’s life in the shadow of his brother, and

  • Heather Dinich, ESPN

    • Senior Citizen WriterApr 12, 2024, 07:00 AM ET Close College football reporter
    • Signed up with ESPN.com in 2007
    • Graduate of Indiana University

COLLEGE PARK, Md.– For about 2 hours on a current March morning, Maryland’s indoor football center was quiet adequate to hear the resemble the ball hitting the receivers’ hands at the Terps’ professional day.With 51 representatives from all 32 NFL teams viewing and bearing in mind, the auditions were consequential and, sometimes, tense– till the reggae music began blasting through the speakers.The tune by artist Lucky Dube was an unique request from the Big

10’s all-time leading passer, Hawaii native Taulia Tagovailoa, as he started to showcase his arm strength with some deep passes.”I’m an island kid, “Tagovailoa stated with a smile following his tossing session, noting the braids sprouting from the top of his head as proof of his laid-back, professional day vibe.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated As the more youthful sibling of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, it’s impossible

for Taulia

to forget where he came from– or where he’s trying to go. The 2 siblings, once colleagues at Alabama, continue to create their own courses however are permanently linked by Tua’s success– the barometer by which Taulia will always be measured. And while Taulia leaves Maryland as one of the most embellished quarterbacks in school history, his capacity to go undrafted leaves him in a familiar position– looking up at his bro, the No. 5 overall choice in 2020.” That’s one of the things when Taulia came here that was an issue of mine because I comprehended the household characteristics, understood remaining in Tua’s shadow,”stated Maryland coach Mike Locksley, who hired Taulia when he was the offending coordinator at Alabama before reuniting with him at Maryland.” But what I have actually been able to see, and if you ever learn more about the kid, he’s a kid that’s truly stood on his own. “His stats provide that information to reveal that he’s a guy that can make those type of plays. I thought he handled– because of his love

for his brother– remaining in that shadow as an honor, rather than something as a hindrance.” Taulia Tagovailoa is leaning on his brother’s suggestions throughout the NFL draft procedure. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

TUA, A 2023 Pro Bowl selection, has actually begun 51 NFL games, finished 66.9% of his passes (2nd finest in group history) and has the very best passer rating (97.1) in Dolphins history. In 2022, at just 24 years old, Tua ended up being the youngest NFL quarterback because Dan Marino in 1984 to lead the league in passer rating, with his 105.5 just a notch above ruling Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes (105.2 ).

It’s a standard Taulia said he thinks about a “big true blessing” as he works to sign up with Tua at the expert level. However the NCAA played a role in his choice to enter the draft earlier than Taulia had actually hoped. In early January, Tagovailoa got in the NCAA transfer portal and filed a waiver with the NCAA for a 6th year of eligibility to improve his draft stock.

“The chances these kids have with the extra year, the NIL piece, that’s a wise organization choice that Taulia made, his family and his group decided,” Locksley stated. “I thought it was a terrific decision on his part to optimize the financial gains of college if you’re not perhaps where you see yourself at the next level.”

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Taulia’s waiver demand concentrated on the circumstances surrounding his freshman season in 2019, when he was Alabama’s third-string quarterback behind his brother, who was the starter, and backup Mac Jones. That season, Taulia played in 5 games– barely.He played four overall snaps in two of those games, including a 38-7 route at Mississippi State when he went into to honor Tua, who suffered a severe hip injury previously in the game. The optimum limit for redshirting is playing in 4 games. The 2020 season doesn’t count toward eligibility due to the fact that of guidelines that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, which would have left Taulia another year to play if he had redshirted in 2019.”Going into college you constantly have goals, and I simply desired more,” he said. “I seemed like I left a lot of plays out on the field, and with another year, I felt it was going to be another chance to reveal what I can do and maybe enhance on the things I didn’t succeed the past number of years. That’s all I was trying to do with getting another year. “Maryland submitted the waiver on his behalf, and coach Nick Saban and Alabama composed a letter of support to the NCAA, according to ESPN sources. The NCAA denied his demand a few weeks later, and Tagovailoa left for California, where he trained for Maryland’s pro day.The NCAA declined to talk about the case.”When the NCAA didn’t accept it, I seemed like

it was God’s prepare for me to– I indicate, I just had one decision,”Taulia said, “to go to the NFL draft.” Taulia and Tua Tagovailoa played together at Alabama for one season. Picture by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

TAULIA’S COURSE WAS more indirect than his bro’s from the start, even though they both began at Alabama.Tua quickly made a name for himself as a freshman in 2017, when Saban made the historical coaching decision of benching Jalen Injures at halftime of the national championship game versus Georgia in favor of Tua. He threw the winning goal pass in overtime and was called the game’s offensive MVP.In 2019, when Taulia was a freshman at Alabama, his older bro reached the peak of his college career before suffering the season-ending injury at Mississippi State in mid-November. Despite having his Alabama profession cut short by injury, Tua completed his junior season as the program leader in total touchdowns with 96 (87 death, nine hurrying).

On the other hand, Taulia finished nine passes for 100 lawns and one touchdown in 5 games. With Jones the heir obvious to Tua at Alabama, Taulia moved to Maryland following the 2019 season in search of more playing time.He found it.Taulia finished his college profession with 11,356 passing lawns, eclipsing almost every Maryland passing record along the method. He set a school mark for touchdowns(77), profession conclusions (955 ), profession conclusion percentage (67.1) and career 300-yard games (15). In spite of his eye-popping numbers, Taulia

wasn’t invited to the NFL combine. Taulia is also not noted among the 257 players ESPN NFL draft expert Matt Miller tasks to be chosen in the 7 rounds.As scouts saw him at Maryland’s professional day, the reviews were similar– Taulia is a”camp player only today.” “He has experience, was very productive in college, is really athletic and can extend plays,

“one NFL scout informed ESPN.” He leaves the pocket too soon, though, and his accuracy on film is bad. “‘Taulia said his sibling has been offering him advice. “I want to be where he’s at, and he helps

me a lot, “Taulia stated.”The most significant thing for me, he understands how to talk to me. I’m more like,’ What should I do? Just inform me what it is; do not beat around. ‘Generally, simply be myself and have fun.Full 2024 NFL draft rankings – Leading five players at all positions(ESPN+)- Scouts Inc. ranks the top 337 potential customers – Kiper’s updated Big Board(ESPN+)- Leading 50 boards: Miller|Reid|Yates – QB Hot Board|Best on the board”It’s not a make-or-break thing if I do not do good. It’s simply being best with myself and ensuring I’m at peace with everything and putting in the work the right way.”Taulia had an impressive proving at the East-West

Shrine Bowl, where he finished nine passes for 142 backyards and no interceptions. He likewise included a rushing touchdown.He stated his strengths are tossing the football from the shotgun and being on the

move and scrambling– he had 201 profession rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns for the Terps– but felt his arm strength has actually been one of the scouts’greatest concerns. One NFL scout agreed, and informed ESPN that overall, Taulia is” not a pocket passer and plays little. “”He has to be outside the pocket to make tosses and see,”the scout stated.”He’s not constant enough.”Locksley stated Taulia’s greatest development given that his freshman season at Alabama has been the “football intelligence piece. “”Tossing the football’s not the question,”Locksley said.”

What I’ve seen Taulia have the ability to do, with this dad who learns 2 NFL quarterbacks, is the psychological piece of it, the maturity that includes having the ability to make the best decision at the correct time. I have actually seen that growth, I’ve seen the football maturity out of Taulia, and he will make somebody’s NFL team since he is gifted enough.”Locksley also kept in mind that Taulia has had success in Maryland’s pro-style system, which will correspond to him being able to play for any group in the NFL.” I understand I’m a leader and a hard worker,” Taulia stated.”I have actually made the regard of individuals in the locker room, every locker room I have actually went to. I’m a competitor and I enjoy my teammates. That’s the biggest thing, you making their respect. I’m going to provide it my all in whatever I do.”

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