Taulia Tagovailoa explains decision to transfer to Maryland during ESPN's College GameDay
Taulia Tagovailoa gave 247 Sports an interesting interview about his football career and decision to transfer away from Alabama and into the Maryland football program after his mega-star older brother, Tua, concluded his college career there and entered the NFL Draft.
Taulia, according to the interview, was adhering to a lifelong tendency to follow his older brother when he went to Tuscaloosa to play for the Crimson Tide, but as soon as Tua left, Taulia realized he wasn’t where he wanted to be.
“At Bama, Tua left so I felt like it was time for me to do my own thing and make my name somewhere else. My biggest thing for my family was if I’m going to go somewhere, my parents are going to send me off to someone they trust and it was coach Locksley. Coach always tells me, don’t be anyone else but yourself and just be a leader. I think that’s a big thing for me. Over here it feels like family.”
The Tagovailoas have become well known adherent of their traditional Hawaiian culture, which favors extremely tight family bonds and a deference extending from younger members of the family to the older ones. Taulia admitted he has been closely following and learning from his older brother all his life, something that may have kept him from learning as much about himself as he might have on his own.
“There’s a point where there’s a fine line between competing and learning for me because I’m the youngest and Tua’s been there and done that so I try my best to compete…but at the same time, he’s been that older brother teaching me how to think and keeping the right mindset.”
Hilariously, the 5-foot-11-inch, 200 pound quarterback lamented his early years playing alongside his older brother, who was a sensational quarterback almost from the beginning. Despite being a great athlete, Taulia said he played center, snapping the ball to Tua, and not wide receiver, where he could have caught first downs and touchdowns before becoming a signal caller himself.
“I actually grew up being Tua’s center, I wish I could’ve been his receiver,” said Taulia. “That’s how it started.”
The Terrapins are 2-2 this year and travel next Saturday to Ann Arbor to play a historically bad 2-4 Michigan Wolverines team coming off a home loss to 1-5 Penn State. More of Taulia’s candid interview can be found here.