One of the single most important decisions in Alabama football history has been made. After months of speculation, Tua Tagovailoa has declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. His decision came at a press conference this morning with Nick Saban, family, friends, and members of the press.
After suffering a horrific injury against Mississippi State, it was feared that his career would be in jeopardy. However, by the grace of God, he was given a good prognosis and will be able to step foot on the gridiron once again after months of intense work and rehab. After his injury, his stock seemingly dropped from being a sure top 5 pick to much lower in the upcoming draft. Some suggested that he may drop out of the first round of the NFL Draft. Since Tua was no stranger to injury, many felt that the time was now to leave Tuscaloosa and ascend to the next level. It seemed crucial that he not take any more chances.
There was even uncertainty that going pro at this point would be the right decision. After all, with this type of injury, doubt of his effectiveness could creep into the minds of team decision makers. In addition, Tua won’t be able to compete in the combine or a pro day. So, there wouldn’t be any proof that he could overcome this injury that he could provide. Plus, let’s face it, NFL decision makers can be very fickle when it comes to the draft. He may be projected high now, but there’s a long length of time between now and the draft. Doubts can set in and cause a player of Tagovailoa’s status to drop. With that being said, a return for his final season at the Capstone made sense. He would able to go through the entire healing process with no pressure and have a full season to show doubters that he could still play at an elite level.
However, the young man decided, after much prayer and consideration, that it was time for him to take the next step in his career. He still plans to graduate and is only 17 hours shy of doing so. After seemingly such a short time, Tua will move on leaving an incredible legacy. While “2nd and 26” may be what he is most known for, along with other record shattering stats, what he means to the team and community that loves him will be what stands out the most. His faith and relationship with God was always on the forefront. He embodied everything that he always professed through his actions and how he treated others. One of the most used ways of describing Tua Tagovailoa by others was that he always brought joy to them. Even in the face of adversity, he still had joy and gave joy to others. It says in James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, because the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Not only is he joyful and extending joy, there is no doubt that through this trial, Tua Tagovailoa will persevere and become one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play at the next level.
I am a 2003 graduate from the University of Alabama with a degree in Exercise Science. While at the Capstone, I served as a student assistant with the head strength and conditioning coach of the Crimson Tide football team. I have competed in both powerlifting and bodybuilding for several years. In addition, I have served athletes and people through the arena of personal training. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am a passionate fan of Alabama, but do not make other fan bases miserable because of it. College football has my heart first, but I cover all areas of sports. Follow me on Twitter: @justinriley7!