Tua describes on-off switch with younger brother Taulia at Alabama
HOOVER, Ala. — Brotherly love only goes so far. Tua Tagovailoa welcomed a familiar face into Alabama’s quarterback room earlier this year as his younger brother Taulia joined the Crimson Tide in January. Although, while the sibling pairing made for a good storyline during SEC Media Days this past week, the older brother believes there's only so much room for feelings on the football field.
“It’s fun, but we kind of came to this thing where on the field it’s business," Tua said. “He’s got to work. I got to work. Everyone’s working for a job. Everyone’s working for a spot.”
Thanks to Tua, Tagovailoa is already a household name. The left-hander won both the Maxwell and Walter Camp Awards while finishing runner-up for the Heisman Trophy last season, rewriting Alabama’s record books in the process. He’s widely projected as the top quarterback in next year’s draft and, with another big season, could go down as the Crimson Tide’s best quarterback in school history.
That’s a lot for his little brother to live up to. However, Taulia comes to Tuscaloosa, Ala., as a prized prospect himself. After following his older brother to Alabama from their home in Ewa Beach, Hawaii in 2017, Taulia has lined up at quarterback for Thompson High School in Alabaster the past two years. The four-star signee is coming off a senior season in which he passed for 3,728 yards and 35 touchdowns while leading the Warriors to the Class 7A state championship game. Like his older brother, Taulia has also set several records since arriving in The Yellowhammer State, becoming the first quarterback to pass for 400 or more yards in four separate games.
Taulia continued to turn heads this spring as he completed 6 of 9 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown with an interception during the A-Day game. If the freshman continues to progress this season, it’s conceivable that he might be taking over the reins for his older brother at this time next year. However, such a scenario would require a great deal of growth over the next 12 months. Hence, the tough love from Tua.
“I’m kind of making him figure it out by himself,” Tua told SEC Network. “I think that’s the right way to go about it. We’re going to have different experiences. If I help him throughout all of it, how is he going to be able to learn if I’m not there?”
Of course, Tua isn’t totally leaving Taulia out in the cold. This spring, the starting quarterback recalled a film session the two shared which spanned into the early hours of the morning. Those moments, as well as some typical sibling bonding, will still be afforded.
“I mean off the field, that’s my brother, that’s someone I’ve got to take care of,” Tua said. “I’ve got to love on him. If he needs anything, I’m going to be there for him. It’s kind of like there’s a switch that goes on on the field, and there’s a switch that goes off off it.”