NORTHPORT — Family means everything to University of Alabama commitment and Thompson High School quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa.
That’s why having having his older brother, Alabama starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, standing on Thompson’s sideline en route to a 35-0 victory over Tuscaloosa County on Friday night – the eve of the Crimson Tide’s game with Texas A&M – was a special moment.
“He just gave me encouraging words, just do your thing and stuff like that. As a brother, it means a lot for him to show up knowing they’ve got a game, and it’s a big one tomorrow too, and that means a lot to me,” Tagovailoa said. “Family is everything to me, and it was just fun to see them come out.”
Halfway through his senior season, Tagovailoa (5-foot-11, 213 pounds), ranked the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the class of 2019 by 247Sports’ Composite Rating, is putting up big numbers to lead Class 7A, third-ranked Thompson, located in Alabaster, to a 4-1 start.
He threw for a career-high 507 yards in a win against Oak Mountain last week to become the 10th quarterback in Alabama High School Athletic Association history to surpass the 500-yard mark. He has two games over 400 yards this season and four for his career, the most of any player in AHSAA history.
Tagovailoa completed 25 of 48 passes for 350 yards and three touchdowns, and rushed for a 2-yard touchdown against TCHS, while his big brother, flanked by Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputies and dressed in Crimson Alabama gear with the hood of his sweatshirt drawn tight, watched.
The close relationship with big brother is ultimately one of the reasons he committed to Alabama.
“My brother is having fun and he is my heart, and that is all that matters to me,” Tagovailoa said. “My family always has fun when they see us happy, so it is just the place to be.”
And he won’t be headed to Tuscaloosa alone. Thompson offensive lineman Amari Kight (6-foot-7, 315 pounds), Tagovailoa’s best friend, and a four-star recruit, is also committed to Alabama.
“It’s a blessing and it makes me more comfortable,” he said. “There is already family over there with Tua and those guys, and it’s great to come in there as a young guy with my best friend Amari and have fun and experience the things that freshmen go through at Alabama.”
Reach Joey Chandler at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0223