Taulia Tagovailoa explains his case to the NCAA for additional year of eligibility
Taulia Tagovailoa has entered the transfer portal as a grad transfer. An outcome Maryland coach Mike Locksley suggested was a possibility back in December became reality on Friday when reports surfaced of his portal entry.
Tagovailoa is believed to be out of eligibility. He’d need to receive a waiver from the NCAA and have his eligibility signed off on by both Maryland and Alabama. Tagovailoa told ESPN’s Pete Thamel he filed a reinstatement waiver with the NCAA on Thursday.
At Alabama in 2019, Tagovailoa played in five games — one more than the allowed number to preserve a redshirt. His fifth appearance that season entailed just two snaps at the end of a 38-7 win over Mississippi State as a way to honor his brother, Tua, who suffered a hip injury that ended his season prematurely.
“Honestly, if I could do it again, hopefully my brother doesn’t get injured and I’m not in that emotional state where I want to play in the game. If I got to do it over again, I wouldn’t have played in the game,” he told Thamel. “Coach asked me if I wanted to go in. Of course I wanted to go in and play for my brother. And that’s what happened.”
Since transferring to Maryland ahead of the 2020 season, Tagovailoa has been the starter and one of the Big Ten’s most electric passers. In four seasons and 41 appearances with the Terps, Tagovailoa threw for 11,256 yards and 76 touchdowns.
Tagovailoa had the COVID exemption at his disposal, but the belief was that he used that this season — his fifth year in college football.
If he is granted an additional year of eligibility, Miami is believed to be a contender for his services — a move that would unite him and his brother in the same city. We’ll see if the NCAA cooperates.