Have learned that Alabama QB Taulia Tagovailoa has entered the transfer portal— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) May 8, 2020
Zenitz’s report was independently confirmed by multiple journalists on Friday as well.
The younger brother of former Alabama starting QB and recent Miami Dolphins draft pick Tua Tagovailoa, Taulia will now look to find a new home to continue his career. And, for a close-knit family that moved from Hawai’i to Alabama (LOL WUT?!) to follow Tua once before, South Florida could now be an option for the next move for the Tagovailoa clan since Tua will be playing for the Dolphins.
The above paragraph brings me to the whole point of this piece: with the younger Tagovailoa potentially looking to make the move to SoFLA, could, or should, Miami pursue him as a transfer?
Let’s look at the situation:
Can Taulia Tagovailoa play at the P5 level?
Before we go any further, it would be wise to evaluate whether Taulia has the talent to play here or not. Because, if not, then there’s no need to dive any further.
In a word, yes.
Sure, he may have had the wheels greased to get him to Alabama because of his last name, but Taulia can play. He had more than 7,500 yards, 71 TDs, at least 8 INTs (stat left blank for senior year) passing, along with nearly 600 yards, and 11 TDs rushing in just his final 2 years of HS. Those are top tier stats if ever I’ve seen them.
Additionally, Taulia was an Elite 11 participant as a HS senior, the Polynesian Player of the Year in 2018, and 1st team All-State in Alabama’s 7A classification in 2018 as well. So there is a history of good performance to his credit.
With all of that being the case, Taulia has the ability to play here. Well, be on the roster here, at least. Whether that talent is good enough for him to START here is another question. (For those wondering, my answer to that one is no, but that’s just me).
What are the physical downsides to Taulia?
If the above were the pros, here are the cons: he’s only 5’11” and has an average arm. So, he’s an inch and a half shorter than his brother and has a weaker arm. Minor details maybe but they matter.
Does the roster need another QB right now?
Not really. Miami has D’Eriq King for a year, N’Kosi Perry and Tate Martell for 2 more years, Peyton Matocha for 4 more years, and Tyler Van Dyke for up to 5 more years. That’s 5 scholarship QBs, before adding the younger Tagovailoa and his 2 years of eligibility to the mix.
And, adding Taulia doesn’t address the spirit of Recruiting Rule #1: Get a QB every year. Miami already added 4-star Tyler Van Dyke in the 2020 class, and the Canes are after a QB for 2021. But those players have more eligibility — and arguably more talent— than the younger Tagovailoa. So, unless you believe Taulia is going to be the surefire starter in 2021 (SPOILER ALERT: I don’t), then the answer to this question is a “no”.
What would be the best usage for the last scholarship for this year?
Miami has 1 spot left for a new player to the roster this year, transfer or recruit. To me, the clear answer is adding an offensive lineman. And there are several options who have hit the transfer portal recently. Most notable among them are 2020 4-star Issiah Walker Jr. (who attended HS literal walking distance from Hard Rock Stadium) who is transferring from Florida after signing there in just this cycle, or Houston transfer Jarrid Williams, who played with and blocked for D’Eriq King in the past.
Adding either of those players into the last scholarship left for an incoming player this year would be a MUCH greater value add to the roster than Tagovailoa would.
And, to keep walking down that path, I’d rather have another game-ready or blue-chip Cornerback before taking another Quarterback onto this roster at present, as well. And the case could be made for an additional Defensive Tackle or Linebacker as well.
So, AT BEST adding a QB in the last open slot for this year would be the 3rd most pressing need for the roster. I’d rather address the more pressing issues, or one of them, at least, with the last open scholarship this year.
Could Miami go after Taulia Tagovailoa since he’s on the transfer market? Yes.
SHOULD Miami go after Taulia Tagovailoa since he’s on the transfer market? No. They shouldn’t. The roster at present and for the future would be better served with
If the best thing about an incoming player is 1. the school he used to play for or 2. the family name on the back of his jersey, then Miami should look elsewhere to build the roster.
Such is the case with Taulia Tagovailoa.
Fashion without function.
Splash with no substance.
Thanks, but no thanks.