COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WDVM) — Former Alabama quarterback, Taulia Tagovailoa, announced on Twitter that he will be transferring from Alabama to play football in College Park this fall for the Maryland Terrapins.
“Today, I am blessed to share that I will be continuing my academic & athletic journey at the University of Maryland,” said Tagovailoa on social media. “I’m grateful to Coach Locksley & the staff for giving me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get to College Park. God bless & Go Terps.”
Tagovailoa is the younger brother of Tua Tagovailoa, who was selected by the Miami Dolphins in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft.
It may seem like a questionable transfer going from a elite program like Alabama to a Maryland program that hasn’t been above .500 since 2014, but Terrapin head coach, Mike Locksley, is the conduit for such transfer as he coached the older Tagovailoa brother when he was an offensive coordinator at Alabama before taking the head coaching job at Maryland.
But even with that connection, the news still came as a shock to Locksley who told AL.com that he found out while doing his show Late Night with Locks.
“As I’m in the middle of the show, which starts at 7 o’clock Eastern time here, I just know my phone started blowing up and buzzing and buzzing and buzzing,” he told the paper. “So I looked down and saw I had a missed call from an 808 (Hawaii) number. And then I was finishing my show and by the time I finished the show, probably around 7:35 or 7:40, my phone had just blown up that Taulia had said he was coming to Maryland. So I called him back and he said, ‘Hey Coach, as a family we’ve prayed about it and I’m coming to Maryland.’”
As a freshman last season, Tagovailoa played in five games for the Crimson Tide, completing 9-of-12 passes for 100 yards and one touchdown.
“Taulia has outstanding field vision and excellent pocket awareness,” said Locksley in a press release. “He’s a twitchy passer that has the ability to make and extend plays in and outside of the pocket because of his above-average athleticism. Taulia has terrific touch and trajectory on his throws and delivers the ball with above-average accuracy. He’s a highly competitive player that will bring great competition to a good quarterback room.”
Maryland went 3-9 overall last season and was 1-8 in conference play picking up their only Big Ten win against Rutgers. The Terps are scheduled to open up the 2020 season on September 5 when they will welcome Towson to Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium.