Tagovailoa staying prepared, well fed ahead of college football playoff

Tua Tagovailoa // AP

Many in Tuscaloosa have been considering Ewa Beach native Tua Tagovailoa one of the more popular players on the (4) Alabama Crimson Tide football team, but Tagovialoa most likely won’t be playing much in ‘Bama’s college football playoff showdown with (1) Clemson Monday.

The former five-star recruit out of Saint Louis has flashed tantalizing ability in his quick action this season.

Tua, who has backed up Alabama starting quarterback Jalen Hurts all year, has accounted for 10 total touchdowns and 576 total yards in relief appearances during his freshman campaign.

The Crimson Tide don’t permit true freshman to speak to the media throughout the regular season, but Tagovailoa was made available to the media and Alabama football expert A.P. Steadham on behalf of KHON2 at the Sugar Bowl media day this week.

“Really good.” Tagovailoa said of his time so far in Tuscaloosa.

“It’s been a great learning experience for me being able to be coached by coach (Brian) Daboh on the offensive side. Being able to learn the offense more and more every day. And then being able to learn the defensive side from coach (Nick) Saban, it’s been an amazing opportunity.”

When asked about what he learned in his first year of college, Tagovailoa joked that his stomach had grown as much as his knowledge.

“I’ve learned that fried chicken is really good in the south.” Tagovailoa laughed.

“I mean I’ve also learned many different coverages. Coverages I don’t think I heard of while I was in high school. Coverages I don’t think I had seen that I see now.”

With Hurts struggling of late only throwing for more than 200 yards once against Power 5 opponents this season, Tagovailoa is preparing to play.

“I would say I’m very prepared. Throughout our season that’s the thing is that we try to prepare on. When our numbers called we hope to be ready.”

Kickoff Monday between Alabama and Clemson is set for 3:45 Hawai’i time with ESPN on the broadcast.

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