Tua Tagovailoa’s journey started in Hawaii. Now the Alabama quarterback is headed to New York City.
Tagovailoa is among three finalists for the Heisman Trophy, it was announced on Monday. He’ll attend Saturday’s ceremony with Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
He could become the first Alabama quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy. Running back Mark Ingram became the first Crimson Tide player to win the award in 2009; fellow running back Derrick Henry won it in 2015. Alabama had five total players finish in the top three of Heisman voting from 2009-17.
Tagovailoa was named SEC offensive player of the year on Monday and has led Alabama’s attack this season. He’s completed 199 of his 294 passes (67.7 percent) with 37 touchdowns against four interceptions. He’s also rushed for five touchdowns.
He’s second in school history with 3,353 yards this season and shattered the school record of 30 touchdowns, set in 2012. He’s thrown for 300 or more yards five times despite sitting out the fourth quarter of several games after Alabama built a comfortable lead. His 42 total touchdowns are the most in school history. He threw five touchdowns against Auburn, tying a school record for most in a game. He added a sixth touchdown on the ground against the Tigers, setting a school record for most touchdowns in a game.
Tagovailoa was a preseason favorite for the award and spent much of the season as the leading candidate as he worked his way up the Alabama record books. But betting odds shifted in favor of Murray after Saturday’s conference championship game. According to sports betting website bovada.lv, Tagovailoa fell from a 1/5 favorite last week to 3/2 today. Murray’s odds jumped from 7/2 on the site a week ago to 1/2.
Alabama beat Georgia 35-28 to win the SEC championship in Atlanta on Saturday. Tagovailoa was injured and left the game in the fourth quarter trailing 28-21. Before that, he was 10-25 for 164 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
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