There will likely be some “Tua” shirts for sale if there aren’t already. The freshman quarterback played a big part in Alabama’s seventeenth national title. It’s the biggest moment in any college athlete’s career and Tua Tagovailoa found himself in the middle of it Monday night, January 8, 2018.
No sooner had he thrown the game-winning touchdown pass in overtime than he found himself in the spotlight…the center of attention and it’s how he reacted to his performance that’s getting a lot of attention. It was a game full of emotion. For Alabama fans, it was one of let down in the first half. The Tide was held scoreless.
That led to a fateful decision by Coach Nick Saban as he replaced Jalen Hurts with true freshman quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa to start the second half. A game-winning, 41 yard touchdown pass in overtime would seal the victory and the national spotlight immediately turned on him.
“First and foremost I’d like to thank my Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. With Him, all things are possible and that’s what happened tonight,” Tagovailoa said in an ESPN interview after the game. “It was a team effort tonight, you know. It couldn’t have been done without the defense getting the ball back…our o-line blocking, working their butts off as well as well as our receivers. You know, it was just a great team effort.”
Tagovailoa gave credit everywhere but to himself. That didn’t go unnoticed by Tide fans. Ed Johnson of GooRoo’s Grill in Robertsdale had a little trouble talking from all of the yelling he did during the game. He said Tua’s performance is something his customers have been talking about all day.
“It’s a team effort and he recognized that because you could tell the team itself got behind him and he showed his maturity and then after the game, going to his parents, you know, that whole thing, that’s what it’s about for kids in college,” Johnson said.
That sentiment resonated with other Alabama fans out on their lunch break.
“I don’t know how you could have a better kid representing the University than what he is,” explained Alabama fan, John Smith. “To stand in the back and finally get his opportunity and explode and then to not even take credit for himself. You know, he still gave credit to the team and everybody on the team knows the spark came from him.”
Tide fan, Josh Pirtle said he’s proud of Tagovailoa’s character.
“I am and he’s got some little brothers too,” Pirtle pointed out. “I’m interested to see how well they pan out.”
Alabama fans look to have several more years of Tua in the spotlight first and his brothers certainly have a great role model and a high standard to look up to.
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