Tuanigamanuolepola "Tua" Tagovailoa (/ˌtʌŋɡvˈlə/ TUNG-goh-vai-LOA;[1] born March 2, 1998) of Samoan heritage is an American football quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide. He was born and raised in ʻEwa Beach, Hawaii.[2]

Tua Tagovailoa
Tua Tagovailoa pre-snap versus the Auburn, Nov 27, 2018.png
Tagovailoa readies for a snap (November 2018)
Alabama Crimson Tide – No. 13
Career history
Bowl games
High schoolSaint Louis School
(Honolulu, Hawaii)
Personal information
Born: (1998-03-02) March 2, 1998 (age 21)
ʻEwa Beach, Hawaii, U.S.
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career highlights and awards

Early yearsEdit

Tua Tagovailoa was born March 2, 1998 to Galu and Diane Tagovailoa,[3] the oldest of four children in a Samoan family. He was said to have grown up with an intense interest in football with his parents noting that he would sleep with a football under his arm every night as a small child. Tagovailoa's father, Galu, began training Tagovailoa at the age of two and forced Tagovailoa to begin throwing with his left hand instead of his right.[3] During Pop Warner games when he was age 8, when his peers could typically throw a football little more than 10 yards, he routinely threw passes more than 30 yards. He was slow to grow into his body, but according to his high school coaches, "his Samoan genes finally kicked in" at about age 12.[2]

His main inspiration during his youth was his grandfather, Seu, who was respected enough in the local Samoan community that he was regularly addressed as "Chief Tagovailoa". Seu believed that Tua would eventually grow into a football star, and he requested that Tua visit him after every game to give him a report, no matter the time of day, with Tua once visiting at 3:00 am. Tua faced a crisis in the summer of 2014 when his grandfather unexpectedly died, and briefly considered quitting football until he and his father agreed that Tua could best honor Seu by continuing to play.[2]

When Tagovailoa began varsity football in high school, he threw for 33 passing touchdowns during his first season with three interceptions and 2583 passing yards.[4] Tagovailoa said a big inspiration and motivation for his performance was how his father disciplined him, saying he used a belt whenever Tagovailoa threw an interception.[3] In 2016, Tagovailoa played in the Army All-American bowl game, a high-school football all star game[5] and in his regular season threw for 2669 passing yards with 27 passing touchdowns and 7 interceptions. He was also chosen to be a part of the Elite 11 roster as one of the elite high-school quarterbacks and was MVP of that roster.[6] In 2017, he was ranked as the number one high school player in the state of Hawaii of the Class of 2017 and attended Saint Louis School[when?] in Honolulu, the same school as Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota[7] where Mariota served as a mentor to him when they were growing up in Hawaii.[8] He had 17 offers from colleges to play on a college football scholarship, including UCLA, Oregon and Colorado, eventually enrolling in the University of Alabama on 1/8/2017 and committing to play there starting from 2017.

His cousins Sirena "Peanut" Tuitele plays college basketball at University of Colorado Boulder and other cousins Ava and Marley Tuitele also play a variety of sports in middle school, while his other cousin Myron Tagovailoa played football at University of Notre Dame.

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Tua Tagovailoa
Honolulu, Hawaii Saint Louis School 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 215 lb (98 kg) 4.90 May 2, 2016 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN:    ESPN grade: 85
Overall recruiting rankings:   Rivals: 3 (Dual-threat QB)  247Sports: 1 (Dual-threat QB)  ESPN: 1 (Dual-threat QB)
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


  • "2017 Alabama Football Commitment List". Rivals.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  • "ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  • "2017 Team Ranking". Rivals.com. Retrieved January 9, 2018.

College careerEdit


As a true freshman, Tagovailoa was the backup to sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts throughout the 2017 season. However, he experienced significant playing time due to a couple of blowout victories for the Crimson Tide. On September 9, he made his collegiate debut against Fresno State in a home game at Bryant–Denny Stadium. In the 41–10 victory, he finished 6-of-9 for 64 yards and his first career passing touchdown, which was a 16-yard pass to wide receiver Henry Ruggs III.[9] On September 23, in a 59–0 victory against Vanderbilt, he got more playing time and recorded 103 passing yards and two passing touchdowns.[10] In the next game, against SEC West rival Ole Miss, he recorded his first collegiate rushing touchdown in a 66–3 victory.[11] In the annual rivalry game against Tennessee, he finished with 134 passing yards, one passing touchdown, one interception, and one rushing touchdown in the 45–7 victory.[12] On November 18, in a game against Mercer, he threw for three passing touchdowns in the 56–0 victory.[13] On January 8, 2018, he replaced Hurts in the second half of the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship due to ineffective play by Hurts.[14] He threw the game-winning 41-yard touchdown pass in overtime to another true freshman, wide receiver DeVonta Smith, to win the game and claim the 2017-2018 CFP National Championship. He finished the 26-23 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs 14-of-24 for 166 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and one interception, along with 27 rushing yards on 12 attempts.[15][16] Tagovailoa was named the Offensive MVP of the game.[17]


On September 1, 2018, Tagovailoa made his first career start at the season's opening game, against Louisville, in Orlando, Florida. He finished 12-of-16, with 227 passing yards and two touchdowns in the 51–14 victory, before Jalen Hurts replaced him in the third quarter.[18] During Alabama head coach Nick Saban's weekly Monday press conference following the victory, he announced Tagovailoa as the starter for The Crimson Tide's home opener against Arkansas State on September 8.[19] In the 62–7 victory over Ole Miss, he was 11-of-15 for 191 passing yards and two touchdowns to go along with 47 rushing yards.[20] He continued his efficient season against Texas A&M with 387 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown in the 45–23 victory.[21] In a limited role against Louisiana, he was 8-of-8 passing for 128 passing yards and two passing touchdowns in the 56–14 victory.[22] In the next game against Arkansas, he had more passing touchdowns than incompletions as he went 10-of-13 for 334 passing yards and four passing touchdowns in the 65–31 victory.[23] Following the regular season, he finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray, but he won the Walter Camp Award and Maxwell Award for 2018, both awarded to the top player in college football.[24] While recovering from the high ankle sprain he suffered during the SEC Championship against Georgia, Tagovailoa put on a nearly flawless offensive performance against Oklahoma in the 2018 Orange Bowl (24-of-27 with 318 yards passing, 4 TDs and 0 INTs) to lead the Tide to their 4th consecutive CFP National Championship appearance. He was also named Offensive MVP of that game.[25] In the 2019 National Championship loss (44-16) against Clemson, Tagovailoa went 22-of-34 with 295 passing yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs.[26] He also set a new NCAA FBS passer rating record of 199.4 for the season, surpassing the record 198.9 set by Baker Mayfield in 2017.[27]


Tagovailoa began his junior season at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game with a victory against Duke in Atlanta. He finished 26-of-31 with 336 passing yards, 4 TDs and no interceptions before sitting out the fourth quarter.[28] The second game of the season was a home opener victory against New Mexico State. Tagovailoa finished that game 16-of-24 with 227 passing yards, 4 total TDs (1 rushing) and no interceptions before sitting out the fourth quarter.[29] In his third game of the season, a victory against South Carolina, Tagovailoa finished 28-of-36 with 444 passing yards, 5 TDs and no interceptions.[30] In the Tide's 49-7 victory against Southern Miss, Tagovailoa finished 17-of-21 with 293 passing yards, 5 TDs and no interceptions.[31] In the Tide's fifth game, a victory against Ole Miss, Tagovailoa finished 26-of-36 with 418 passing yards, 7 TDs (1 rushing) and no interceptions.[32] In the Tide's 47-28 victory against Texas A&M, Tagovailoa finished 21-of-34 with 293 passing yards, 4 TDs and 1 interception.[33] Tagovailoa left the Tide's sixth game against Tennessee early in the 2nd quarter after suffering a high ankle sprain.[34] He underwent surgery to repair the ankle the following day, and did not play in the next game against Arkansas (a 48-7 victory led by QB Mac Jones).[35][36] Tagovailoa returned three weeks post-surgery to play in the 46-41 loss to top-ranked LSU.[37] Despite some struggles (a fumble and INT) in the first half of that game, Tagovailoa rebounded after halftime to finish 21-of-40 with 413 passing yards, 4 TDs and 1 interception.[38] In the Tide's matchup against Mississippi State, Tagovailoa led the team to a 35-7 lead (14-of-18, 256 passing yards, 2 TDs, no interceptions) before leaving the game with a hip injury during the 2nd quarter. It was revealed that he suffered a dislocated hip and posterior wall fracture (along with a concussion and a broken nose), which prematurely ended his season.[39]

On January 6, 2020, Tagovailoa announced that he would forgo his senior year at the University of Alabama and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.[40]


Year Team Games Passing Rushing
G GS Cmp Att Pct Yards TD Int Rtg Att Yards Avg TD
2017 Alabama 8 0 49 77 63.6 636 11 2 175.0 27 133 4.9 2
2018 Alabama 15 15 245 355 69.0 3,966 43 6 199.4 57 190 3.3 5
2019 Alabama 9 9 180 252 71.4 2,840 33 3 206.9 21 25 1.2 2
Career 32 24 474 684 69.3 7,442 87 11 199.4 105 348 3.3 9

Personal lifeEdit

After Tagovailoa's commitment to Alabama he graduated early from Saint Louis School and moved with his family to Alabaster, Alabama.[41] Tagovailoa is a committed Christian.[42]

Tagovailoa's younger brother, Taulia, played quarterback for Thompson High School, in Alabaster,[41] and is currently a quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide. According to 247 Sports, Taulia was the 9th ranked dual-threat quarterback in the nation in the Class of 2019 and received offers from nine schools, including Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Ole Miss, and Oregon.[43] Taulia committed to Alabama during the Alabama Spring game.[44] Tua and Taulia attended the Elite 11 QB camp in 2018, with Tua returning as a guest alumnus after winning MVP in 2016.[45] Tagovailoa's cousins also play football, with Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa playing defensive lineman at Notre Dame, and Adam Amosa-Tagovailoa playing offensive lineman at Navy.[46]

Awards and HonorsEdit

High School Awards & Honors

  • 2014 Semper Fidelis Player of the Year (St. Louis School)
  • 2016 Nike's "The Opening" MVP
  • 2016 Jr Prep Sports Paradise Football Classic MVP
  • 2017 U.S. Army All-America Bowl
  • Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge
  • 2016 Elite 11 MVP
  • 2016 Gatorade State Player of the Year (Hawaii)
  • PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team
  • 2016 HHSAA District 1 State Championship
  • KHON2's Cover2 Kaulukukui Award (Hawaii Offensive Player of the Year)
  • KHON2 Cover2 Mariota Award (Hawaii Player of the Year)

2017 (Freshman)

2018 (Sophomore)

2019 (Junior)

†Shared award



  • Career passing efficiency (199.4)
  • Career touchdown percentage (12.7%)
  • Career touchdown-interception Ratio (7.9)


  • Passing yards per attempt in a season (11.2 in 2018)
  • Total yards per play in a season (10.1 in 2018)
  • Tied for total touchdowns in a game (7 in 2019 against Ole Miss)


  • Career TDs responsible for (96)
  • Career passing TDs (87)
  • 3rd all-time career passing yards (7,442)
  • Most passing TDs in a season (43 in 2018)
  • Single-season passing yardage (3,966 in 2018)
  • Total TDs in a season (48 in 2018)
  • Passer efficiency rating in a season (199.4 in 2018)
  • Most passing touchdowns in a game (6 in 2019)
  • Most 4-touchdown games in a season (6 in 2018)
  • Most games with 300 passing yards in a season (6 in 2018)
  • Most career games with at least 300 passing yards (10) (2019)
  • Single-season Total Offense Yards (4,156 yards in 2018)
  • Most career games with at least 4 TD passes (12)
  • First player to have 400+ passing yards and 5 TDs in the same game (2019)
  • First player to have 400+ passing yards and 6 TDs in a game (2019)

Note – Conference Records are also school records. Once a conference record is recorded, its corresponding school record is removed. For example, the record for single-season total touchdowns is only recorded in the conference section, but it is both a conference record and a University of Alabama record.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Alabama 2017 Class: Tua Tagovailoa". foxsports.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Schnell, Lindsey (October 8, 2015). "The islands' next great QB: Tua Tagovailoa, and the story of the man who inspired him to soar". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Cash, Meredith. "Tua Tagovailoa gave some dark details of how far his father went to turn him into one of the best players in college football". Business Insider. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  4. ^ "Tua Tagovailoa, St. Louis Crusaders, Dual-Threat Quarterback". 247Sports. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  5. ^ Star-Advertiser (November 30, 2016), Army All-American Bowl presents Tua Tagovailoa with jersey 11/30/16, retrieved February 15, 2019
  6. ^ Kirpalani, Sanjay. "Meet Tua Tagovailoa, the 2016 Elite 11 MVP". Bleacher Report. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  7. ^ "Tua Tagovailoa replaces Jalen Hurts: What you need to know about freshman QB". Sporting News. January 8, 2018. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  8. ^ "Mariota happy for protege Tagovailoa's success". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  9. ^ "Fresno State at Alabama Box Score, September 9, 2017". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  10. ^ "Alabama at Vanderbilt Box Score, September 23, 2017". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  11. ^ "Ole Miss at Alabama Box Score, September 30, 2017". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  12. ^ "Tennessee at Alabama Box Score, October 21, 2017". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  13. ^ "Mercer at Alabama Box Score, November 18, 2017". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  14. ^ Lyles Jr., Harry; Kirshner, Alex. "True freshman Tua Tagovailoa replaces Jalen Hurts in the middle of the National Championship, sparking Alabama". SB Nation. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  15. ^ "College Football Championship - Alabama vs Georgia Box Score, January 8, 2018". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  16. ^ Hoffman, Benjamin; Drape, Joe; Tracy, Marc (2018). "National Championship Game: Alabama Beats Georgia Behind Freshman Quarterback". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  17. ^ "Alabama football: Tua Tagovailoa, Da'Ron Payne earn MVP honors". ajc. Archived from the original on January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
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  20. ^ "No. 1 Alabama rolls past Ole Miss". WREG.com. September 16, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  21. ^ Hurt, Cecil. "Tagovailoa throws for 387 yards, four TDs as Tide thumps Aggies". Tuscaloosa News. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  22. ^ "No sweat: Tua goes 8-for-8 as No. 1 Alabama rolls". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. September 29, 2018. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
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  25. ^ "Tua Tagovailoa, Xavier McKinney named MVPs of Orange Bowl". BamaOnLine. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  26. ^ "Tua Tagovailoa Career Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  27. ^ "Stat pack: Putting Tua Tagovailoa's record-setting passer rating in perspective". www.si.com. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  28. ^ "Alabama's offense starts slow, can't run it, but Tua is still Tua". SaturdayDownSouth.com. August 31, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  29. ^ "Tagovailoa, No. 2 Alabama romp over New Mexico State, 62-10". Yahoo Sports. September 8, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  30. ^ Rodak, Mike (September 15, 2019). "Tua Tagovailoa has career day in South Carolina, resets Alabama record book". al. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  31. ^ Daniels, Tim. "Tua Tagovailoa Throws 5 TDs, No. 2 Alabama Crushes Southern Miss. 49-7". Bleacher Report. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  32. ^ "Game balls for Alabama: Ole Miss". BamaOnLine. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  33. ^ Wells, Adam. "Tua Tagovailoa's 4 TDs Lead No. 1 Alabama to 47-28 Win over Texas A&M". Bleacher Report. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  34. ^ Casagrande, Michael (October 20, 2019). "Tua Tagovailoa injured in Tennessee game, ruled out for 2nd half". al. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  35. ^ Zucker, Joseph. "Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa Underwent Ankle Surgery; Out vs. Arkansas with Injury". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
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  39. ^ Bogage, Jacob (November 16, 2019). "Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa dislocates hip, will miss remainder of the season". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  40. ^ https://www.si.com/nfl/2020/01/06/tua-tagovailoa-declares-nfl-draft-rehabbing-injury-alabama
  41. ^ a b Thomas, Ben (March 30, 2017). "Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa's brother set to enroll at Thompson High". AL.com. Archived from the original on January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  42. ^ "'God, Thank You': Alabama Tide Wins Championship, Led by Faith-Filled Freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa". January 9, 2018. Archived from the original on February 4, 2018.
  43. ^ "Taulia Tagovailoa Recruiting Interests". 247 Sports. Archived from the original on July 26, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  44. ^ Carroll, Charlotte (April 21, 2018). "Taulia Tagovailoa, Younger Brother of Tua, Commits to Alabama". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  45. ^ NFL Network (August 1, 2018), The Top 24 High School QBs in the Country Compete for a Spot on the 2018 Elite 11 | NFL Network, retrieved August 16, 2018
  46. ^ "Faith and family drive Notre Dame DL Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa". NDInsider.com.