Tua Tagovailoa’s record-breaking University of Alabama career is over.
The UA quarterback will be up for selection in the 2020 NFL Draft after seeing his junior season end early with a hip injury suffered in the second quarter of the Mississippi State game, causing him to miss the final two regular season games and the Citrus Bowl.
Tagovailoa leaves Alabama with at least 11 school records: single-season passing yards (3,966, 2018); single-game touchdown passes (six against Ole Miss this season), single-season touchdown passes (43 last year) and career touchdown passes (87); career touchdowns responsible for (96); career 300-yard passing games (10) and career four-touchdown games (12).
The other four are completion percentage records: single-game completion percentage with a minimum of eight completions (8-for-8 in 2018) and 20 completions (24-for-27, 88.9 percent, 2018 Orange Bowl), single-season completion percentage with a minimum of 100 completions (71.4 this season) and career completion percentage of at least 100 and 200 completions (474-for-648, 69.2 percent). The career completion percentage is also a SEC record for those with at least 300 attempts.
Tagovailoa came to UA as a highly rated prospect, a five-star from Saint Louis School in Honolulu, Hawaii. His legend grew quickly with dazzling performances in garbage time as a freshman before what remains the highlight of his UA career: taking over at halftime of the national championship game against Georgia, leading UA to overtime and winning the game with a second-and-26 touchdown pass to DeVonta Smith.
The two seasons that followed were a display of extraordinary talent marred by injury.
Ankle injuries were bigger storylines than touchdown passes in both his 2018 and 2019 seasons, the first costing him a half of the SEC Championship game and the second costing him six quarters of action against SEC opponents.
Tagovailoa’s talent changed the outlook of UA’s football program, and his injuries changed the outlook of his final two seasons, even if only temporarily in 2018.
There is still a Tagovailoa presence in Tuscaloosa, with younger brother Taulia Tagovailoa completing his freshman season, but there is no guarantee UA hands the reins from one brother to the other. Mac Jones got three starts against FBS competition in Tua Tagovailoa’s absence, completing 69.76 percent of his passes at 10.4 yards per attempt.
There is also the incoming addition of Bryce Young, a five-star prospect from Santa Ana, California.
Tagovailoa is now the fourth UA to player to leave school early for the 2020 NFL Draft, joining Jedrick Wills Jr., Jerry Jeudy and Xavier McKinney.
Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or email@example.com or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson