Tua Tagovailoa is competing for the Alabama football program’s starting quarterback job. Despite coming in during the second half of the College Football Playoff National Championship game and leading the Crimson Tide to an incredible comeback victory, he is not guaranteed to be the No. 1 signal-caller with Jalen Hurts, who led Alabama to two straight national title appearances, still on the roster.
But if the praise Tagovailoa has been receiving is any indication, the Crimson Tide would be wise to put the former five-star recruit under center for the season-opener.
Former Alabama offensive coordinator and current FAU head coach Lane Kiffin recently discussed Alabama’s quarterback competition and believes the team will be fine regardless of whether it’s Tagovailoa or Hurts as the starter.
“They’re in a great position,” Kiffin said, via 247 Sports. “Everybody in the country would like to have it. People say it’s a bad thing. It’s a great thing. You have two dynamic players with dynamic skills that are in their first and second year of college … which is why everybody thought we wouldn’t be able to get Tua with Jalen coming off an SEC Offensive Player of the Year season, and Tua still came, which you saw his competitiveness.”
However, if you consider the comparisons Tagovailoa has drawn, you’d expect Alabama to hand him the offense. After all, he’s been compared to Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Young.
“At this camp there was this quarterback competition thing, and all the top college guys around the country were there. He just picks up the ball, (the target is) about 40 yards away, he’s got to throw kind of horizontally, like he did in the championship game, into this net thing that a normal guy might get one 1-for-5,” Kiffin said. “He picks up two and gets 2-for-2. That’s just how he is.
“His touch is just … when he was in high school, people compared him to Steve Young. Just a unique ability.”
You can listen to the full interview with Kiffin here.
Alabama opens its 2018 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Louisville.