He has all the makings of a superstar. If he turns the Miami Dolphins into a winner, rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa could own the city of Miami. He’s got the talent, the charm, and the desire to take control of Miami and become its next big star.
Tua Tagovailoa has proven himself at the college level
College football success doesn’t always lead to NFL stardom. Tua Tagovailoa, however, showed how cool, calm, and collected he was as a freshman. Not expected to play in the national title game, Tagovailoa, a backup to Jalen Hurts at Alabama in 2017, rose to the occasion when he was called upon in the second half.
A true freshman, Tagovailoa was asked to replace an ineffective Hurts to begin the second half of the NCAA title game against Georgia. The savvy southpaw came in an completed 14 of 24 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns. His final touchdown pass, a 41-yarder to DeVonta Smith in overtime, gave the Crimson Tide a 26-23 victory.
Tagovailoa was named the starter for the 2018 season and had a very strong year. Tagovailoa finished second to Kyler Murray in the Heisman Trophy voting and took Alabama to the national title game where the Tide was thumped by Clemson 44-16. Last year, Tagovailoa has another strong season that was cut short by a serious hip injury.
Tagovailoa in line to be Miami’s next big star
The Miami Dolphins haven’t had a true star since Dan Marino was their quarterback in the 1980s. Dwyane Wade has probably been the city’s longtime recent star, but Tua Tagovailoa could take over his reign. The Dolphins think so highly of Tagovailoa, they took him with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 draft despite his serious hip injury.
Miami appeared to be in complete rebuilding mode last year, but put together a strong finish to the 2019 season. The Dolphins finished with a 5-11 record but won their final two games, including a shocker in Foxboro when they defeated the New England Patriots. The win prevented the defending Super Bowl champions from securing a first-round bye.
The Dolphins have veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick and former first-round pick, Josh Rosen, on their roster, but Tagovailoa is expected to compete for the starting job. If the Dolphins can be competitive with Tagovailoa under center, he will become the next big thing in Miami.
Tagovailoa has what it takes
In a recent ESPN article, Miami Dolphins color commentator Joe Rose said even before he takes his first professional snap, Tua Tagovailoa has created a buzz around the city. “Tua is far by himself — never seen anything like this buzz from a draft pick here. There’s no close second,” said Rose. “We have a rock star here in Tua. This team has been in mediocrity for so long. It’s lacked the Dan Marino star power, the Ricky Williams star power. Tua’s the next guy in that group.”
Even Dwyane Wade, the former Miami Heat sensation, said the city is longing for a star and he believes Tagovailoa can fill that role. “He’s a hell of a player,” Wade said. “Miami, especially at the QB position, really needs that. They need a leader. They need a player.
“To come in as a young player and win a game in the second half of a national championship game — that shows some grit, that shows some balls. People have to really believe in you. Miami needs that. The Dolphins need that. Even though I’m a (Chicago) Bears fan, I was rooting for them to get him because Miami needs to get back to where the basketball program is.”