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What Tua Tagovailoa said after Alabama’s win

What a great  national championship game last night. Here are a few comments from Alabama freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after his dramatic second half play in the win over Georgia.

Q. This is for Tua. Tua, you’ve played in games before, but most of the time it’s been when the games were already in hand. What was that like to come in with Alabama trailing? And at what point did you feel like I’ve got this?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: We practice throughout the year. We go in with the ones sometimes. Us freshmen, we go in with the ones sometimes. We trade reps with the ones. We go in with the twos. And I think preparation leading up to this point has been the key thing with our offensive coaches helping us throughout the process. And just building the trust within each other, from the O-line to the receivers creating a bond with each other. I think that’s helped us build confidence coming into this game to where, if you’ve got to go in, if your number’s called, then you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to give the team the best placement — or how should I say this? To give the team the best opportunity to win the game.

Q. This question is for Tua again. Hawaii to Alabama is a long way distance-wise, culturally. What’s that experience been like for you this first year? Have you ever been homesick at any point? Just kind of sum it up.
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I do get homesick at times. I miss my family back home. My parents are here. I’m talking about my dad’s siblings. I don’t know how Coach Saban found me all the way in Hawaii from Alabama. Thank God he found me and we’re here right now.

I don’t know, the biggest difference from Hawaii and Alabama would probably be there’s no beaches, but other than that, the people are very nice. The people are very religious. There’s football too. So how much better could it get?

Q. Where does your poise come from to allow you to come into a situation like this tonight and perform the way you did?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I would say my poise comes from my faith, just being able to come onto the sideline every time after I go into a drive. I just pray for peace. I just pray, asking God, let your will be done in me, and the rest will follow. That’s the best way I could explain it. Before I go into a drive, I pray a little bit, say my prayers, and we do it. When we come off the field, say a little prayer just to keep me calm, and we go from there.

Q. Tua, a couple years ago, Marcus Mariotta became the superstar of college football and really put Hawaii on the map in terms of skill players. I know you were hailed as the next Marcus. Did you hear from him today? And I see you up there with your Hawaii lei? What does it mean for your state and for Polynesian people?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: This is very big for our state. For kids back home, making our state proud is the biggest thing, and to be able to do this on a national level, on a big stage is just a great opportunity. It’s just great exposure for us as well, you know, our people. I mean, I just thank God that I’m here.

Q. Did you hear from Marcus at all?
TUA TAGOVAILOA: I heard nothing from Marcus before this. I don’t want to check my phone right now. I just want to see my family and just enjoy this win with my team.

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  1. Will Hurts transfer now to get playing time or stick it out as a backup at Alabama? Who will be the starter at Alabama next year? Can Alabama keep all this talent and keep them happy? It should be an interesting year ahead!

  2. What a talent. This young man is the real deal. What a move by Saban to insert him in the game. Say what you want about the man, he can coach and gets top talent.

    Just saw where 4* recruit Javonte Richardson, the highest rated recruit in UK’s 2017 class is transferring. What in the world is going on with UK football?

  3. That news makes me sick also although really I am not too surprised. I think Stoops and staff have been exposed and probably more to come. Stoops has done a decent job in recruiting but not at SEC level. UT was a couple of spots behind us 2 wks ago and now they are up to 15 as of couple of days ago. We have (3) 4 * and they now have 10, and I think Vandy may have 4. IMO we have one of if now the lowest rated coaching staffs in the SEC and no end at end of tunnel.

  4. I said this was going to happen and I don’t think the transfers are over. The sad part is Stoops is losing good talent. I don’t blame Richardson for leaving. He sees the writing on the wall. For any team to be successful in the SEC you have to be able to run the ball and throw the ball with consistency. Then you take what the opponent gives you. Gran wants to hang his hat on running the ball, but if you watched the game last night, running the ball was just part of the game. When Georgia put a stop to the run, Saban brought in that freshman because he could throw the ball, better. Don’t think Stoops or Gran either one are smart enough to make that kind of move. Barker or one of the other qbs should have been brought along this past year to at least be able to fill in when Johnson was hurting or even just to give the game a change of pace. Not using a second RB very much through the year really killed UK when Snell go ejected and UK did not have another back with enough experience to rely on for big plays. I thought Stoops was a good hire, but the longer he is here, the more I am starting to question his ability as a head coach.

  5. Pup….where did you read that Richardson was leaving? I haven’t been able to confirm that anywhere.

    1. The Courier Journal reported it on 1/9.

  6. I think grades have more than a little to do with him transferring to a JUCO. It is not atypical for top programs to have highly rated 4 and 5 star players leave for any of a variety of reasons. I think Pitt lost 4 in the last two weeks. Every school has attrition. The number of stars doesn’t guarantee a high level of performance at the next level. Blaming Stoops for this is a real stretch.

    1. I too thought in Richardson’s case it might be grades. Still, it is a big loss to lose that kind of athlete. UK football is not exactly stocked now with overwhelming talent as is. And, as Mike says, UK don’t seem to prepare players very well. For example, with Barker gone, they have no experience now at the QB position for 2018. That said, the kind of season they had in 2017, with very close games, did not allow for much playing time for backups. I just hope Terry Wilson is the answer. IMO winning football starts with a quality QB. They lose some good WR’s too.

      1. Not sure on Richardson but he was a big-time talent. May be joing JUCO to avoid not playing for a year.

  7. I blame Stoops more for not getting them or coaching them up when they get here.

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