True freshman Tua Tagovailoa came off the bench to start the second half for Alabama in Monday night’s national championship and provided the offensive spark the team needed to rally from a 13-0 deficit and come away with the win at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
But had Nick Saban not rolled the dice at the half, would the Crimson Tide quarterback have been looking for a way out of the program?
According to former Alabama offensive coordinator and current FAU coach Lane Kiffin, that would have happened and he has “no doubt” the freshman sensation would have looked to transfer out of the program.
Kiffin shared his thoughts following the national title game and said there is no way Tagovailoa would have risked being stuck on the bench behind Jalen Hurts for the foreseeable future.
Lane Kiffin said he has “no doubt” that Tua Tagovailoa would have transferred after this season if he didn’t play last night. Added that Tua wouldn’t risk sitting another year behind Hurts.
— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) January 9, 2018
That obviously wasn’t the case, however, and the Hawaii native proved to the world on a national stage that he has all of the talent to live up to his billing as the top dual-threat quarterback in his recruiting class.
Tagovailoa went on to win Offensive MVP honors in the game and threw the game-winning 41-yard touchdown pass in overtime to clinch the win.
After Monday night, there’s no doubt who the starting quarterback for the Crimson Tide is looking into the future.