Alabama football star Tua Tagovailoa had his breakout game during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, rallying the Crimson Tide from a two score deficit to beat the Georgia Bulldogs.
Tagovailoa earned offensive MVP honors for the game and seems poised to take over as the quarterback of the future for Nick Saban’s squad.
But as it turns out, if one other program would have made an offer, Tagovailoa may never have landed in Tuscaloosa.
A story on ESPN.com detailed how Alabama landed the five-star dual-threat quarterback, and it all started when the Oregon Ducks didn’t give him an offer.
Because of Tagovailoa’s close relationship with fellow Hawaii star Marcus Mariota, he had an early interest in the Ducks.
The report reads:
Tagovailoa, who was born and raised in Honolulu, attended Saint Louis School, the alma mater of Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. When Tagovailoa was in fourth grade, Mariota took him under his wing to give him quarterback tips, becoming an early mentor.
That relationship sparked an early interest in Oregon once Tagovailoa started his recruiting process.
Mark Helfrich, who was then the Ducks head coach, along with then-offensive coordinator Scott Frost, tried to avoid offering prospects early in their high school careers, but this one seemed like a no-brainer. However, no offer came.
In the end, everything worked out for Tagovailoa.
He’s one of the top young quarterbacks in college football and on one of the best teams that has shown no signs of slowing down. In the end, collecting that hardware and setting yourself up for future success is the ultimate goal.