NFL

Tua Tagovailoa’s First Job Proves He Was Always Ready to Go to the NFL

Tua Tagovailoa’s NFL playing career is still in its early stages, but it’s off to a great start with the Miami Dolphins in his rookie season. Tagovailoa has had a long, hard journey to get there. The quarterback played at one of the biggest college football programs and faced adversity in his final season there. He suffered a small hit to his draft stock before ending up in Miami. 

Tagovailoa’s preparation for this moment goes all the way back to his time as a child growing up with his family. His choice in jobs before he got to the NFL proves this, and his first job shows just how dedicated he is to achieving NFL stardom. 

Tua Tagovailoa’s college football career

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Tagovailoa had an impressive college football career. His first significant action playing for the Alabama Crimson Tide came in the most thrilling and pressure-packed of moments: the 2017 national championship game against the University of Georgia. After incumbent starter Jalen Hurts struggled to move the ball effectively, head coach Nick Saban inserted Tagovailoa who then led the team to a comeback victory. 

The young quarterback continued to play at a high level throughout his college career, though his time with the Tide ended on an unfortunate note. He suffered a season-ending injury last year that ended his collegiate run. Despite the question marks surrounding his injury, the Miami Dolphins spent a top ten pick on Tagovailoa, making him their heir apparent under center. 

Tagovailoa’s NFL career so far

Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins looks on prior to a game
Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins before a game | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

It was clear the second the Dolphins selected him that Tagovailoa was their quarterback of the future. They invested a high pick on him, and he had a lot of high expectations even with his injury history. That said, Miami entered this season with low expectations as a team and with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting quarterback. Fitzpatrick can throw the ball downfield reliably, but he was clearly a stopgap solution until Tagovailoa was ready. 

The Dolphins have been surprisingly competitive in 2020. With the Patriots struggling and the Jets a non-entity, they’ve been locked in a season-long scramble with Buffalo for the division lead. That’s why some may have been surprised when the Dolphins turned the reins over to Tagovailoa at the beginning of November. The Dolphins’ attitude was clear: let’s find out what we have in this young QB. 

While Tagovailoa’s development has been slow but steady, they have to be happy with the returns up to this point. According to Pro Football Reference, the team is 3-1 with Tagovailoa under center. The team is being conservative with him so far; he has yet to throw more than 28 passes in a game. But that attitude is paying off. Tagovailoa has not yet thrown an interception. 

Tua Tagovailoa’s first job

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Every player in the NFL is there due to some combination of sheer athleticism, hard work, and determination. Tagovailoa told GQ Sports that not only has he always wanted to play in the NFL. He’s been so focused on that goal, in fact, that he’s never even held down another job: “If you look at my resume, my first job was being an NFL quarterback.” 

Forget being a paperboy or waiting tables. Tagovailoa spent his formative years going after NFL greatness, and he eventually got there. Tagovailoa grew up in Hawaii in a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house. He always loved football above all other sports. He didn’t find any excitement from sports like baseball. His dream was always to be an NFL player. 

As a young player, Tagovailoa had a laser-like focus and made his dream come true. According to Tagovailoa, the only job he had other than being in the NFL was doing chores at home to help his parents out. That shows just how dedicated he was to his ultimate objective.