May 3, 2016
Alabama’s 2017 recruiting class received a major boost on Monday evening when 4-star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa announced his commitment to the Crimson Tide.
The 6’1”, 210-pounder chose the Tide over programs such as Ole Miss, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC among others.
Tagovailoa rates as the nation’s No. 2 dual-threat passer and the No. 58 player overall in the 2017 cycle.
As a sophomore at St. Louis High School in Honolulu—the same prep program that produced former Heisman Trophy winner and current Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota—Tagovailoa accounted for 3,159 yards of total offense and threw 33 touchdown passes with only three interceptions.
The top overall prospect from the state of Hawaii visited the Capstone on a swing into SEC territory last month, and his visit made a lasting impression, per Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports:
First off the biggest thing was their faith over there, what they believe in is kind of the same thing I believe in. The Southern hospitality is very great. I want to look at that because that’s where I’m going to be living. You have to look at the community and the people around you. I feel that’s the biggest thing that was there, and the football is always going to be good at Alabama.
Adding his commitment is huge for the Tide’s 2017 class—which now sits with nine commitments and is gaining steam toward landing a seventh straight top-rated class.
It’s also another signal to the strength of head coach Nick Saban’s recruiting prowess.
Saban hasn’t had any trouble casting a wide net around the nation in his search for top talent, but heading off the mainland to snag an elite quarterback was something he had yet to do in his career at Alabama. Furthermore, the Tide offered him on March 8, and he’s on their commit list less than two months later.
Tagovailoa’s pledge also continues a recent trend for the Tide in landing quarterbacks who are comfortable making plays with their arms and legs.
Since offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin arrived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama signed Blake Barnett in the 2015 class and Jalen Hurts in the 2016 cycle. Similar to his penchant for celebrating touchdowns in the middle of a play, Kiffin’s tweet hours before Tagovailoa committed gave Tide fans a hint that good news was coming soon.
With an explosive talent such as Tagovailoa now in the fold, Alabama’s depth chart at the most critical position on the field is stacked with blue-chip talents for the foreseeable future.
That is a scary thought for teams in the SEC and those around the country hoping to catch up to the trophy-collecting juggernaut that Saban and his staff have constructed in Tuscaloosa.
Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.
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