The Tagovailoa era in Tuscaloosa is officially over, probably far sooner than most Alabama fans could’ve imagined at this point one year ago.
It came to an end Friday evening when Tua Tagovailoa’s brother, Taulia, announced his intentions to transfer to Maryland.
Last May, most Alabama fans likely had Taulia penciled in as the Crimson Tide’s starter in 2020, but things can change in a hurry in college football.
At that point, nobody knew Tua would have an injury-marred junior season and that Mac Jones would prove capable of running the Crimson Tide offense in his absence. Nobody knew the nation’s top-ranked quarterback, Bryce Young, would flip his commitment from Southern California to Alabama in September. Nobody knew that the COVID-19 pandemic would eliminate any chance to compete for the starting job in spring practice.
With the veteran Jones and the uber-talented Young still on the roster, Alabama likely won’t miss a beat.
As for Taulia, leaving Alabama may turn out to be a wise decision. With Young waiting in the wings, there’s no guarantee he’d ever seen much playing time in Tuscaloosa. That won’t be the case at Maryland, as the Terrapins’ top two quarterbacks from last year combined for just 1,966 passing yards and threw 15 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions. Not good to say the least.
Taulia can also carve out his own legacy at Maryland. He’ll probably never escape the comparisons to his older brother, but the pressure to perform will be far less intense in College Park.
The move also reunites a member of the Tagovailoa family with Maryland head coach Mike Locksley, who was Alabama’s offensive coordinator during Tua’s sensational sophomore season in 2018. If he can work the same magic with Taulia, it would go a long way in turning around a program that finished with a 3-9 record in Locksley’s first season.
Taulia won’t be competing for national championships at Maryland, but he’s likely making the best decision for his future.