The Heisman Trophy is the most coveted award in all of college football, perhaps in all of college sports. It certainly has the most prestige to it, the most familiarity. In this ten part mini-series, I am going to introduce you to the top ten Heisman Hopefuls in America so that you can get familiar with them just in time for spring football.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Now entering his sophomore season, Tua Tagovailoa entered his freshman year as the backup quarterback to Jalen Hurts at Alabama. Tua played in limited “mop-up” duty, and shone brightly in limited time, earning himself the coaching staffs trust. When Alabama went into halftime of the national championship down, head coach Nick Saban and staff turned to this young man who led his team back into the game with three touchdown passes including the game-winner in overtime.
Aside from having caught America’s attention in the National Championship game, what does Tagovailoa possess to put him on this list?
Tagovailoa’s arm talent is absolutely undeniable. He comes from the same high school Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota played at in Hawaii. In fact, Tagovailoa was four grades behind him, and he caught Mariota’s eye before anyone else did.
Tagovailoa was playing on the junior varsity squad, which practised with the varsity team. Mariota watched him in practice for a few weeks before alerting his coaching staff that a young Tagovailoa needed to be on the varsity team. He then became a student of the game to Mariota, and the playing styles are clearly similar.
Tua already possesses incredible accuracy, almost like a sniper. He knows how to throw a football where he wants it to go. His arm strength is there too and, while not at NFL elite level, it will be more than formidable in college.
Tagovailoa reminds people of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson because of his combination of mobility and accuracy. Tua can get himself out of jams and keep plays alive. His running ability is almost identical to Wilson’s.
While we aren’t too sure what Alabama’s offensive system will look like this year, we can be certain that Saban and his staff will use that mobility in some way, shape or form. It will be a lethal part of the team, and if he continues to progress, he will be scoring a lot of touchdowns.
Let’s face it; playing for Saban does count for something. The man has won five national championships since coming to Alabama and look at the quarterbacks he won with. Greg McElroy, A.J. McCarron, Jacob Coker and now Hurts/Tagovaloia. That’s really a bunch of no names.
Now, Saban has an elite level NFL prospect on his team. Think of what Saban has to be thinking with this young man on his squad. If he consistently brings out the best in his quarterbacks, he will bring out the best of Tagovailoa and it will be scary.
Keep your eyes peeled on Alabama this season… as if you don’t have any choice but to already.Tagovailoa brings a new level to this offence and it will be exciting to watch.
Embed from Getty Images