Tide Gets Rolling Thanks To This Giant Hawaiian Wave
Before the start of the 2018 season, Tua Tagovailoa joked that, “I’m not sure how a guy from Hawaii got to Alabama.”
But much in the way Tagovailoa spins away from oncoming rushers, the answer has some unlikely twists and turns. And the result is that Alabama is on track to become not only repeat National Champions but also the best team in the history of college football.
Crimson Tide fans have Jake Fromm to thank for that, as well as Steve Sarkisian.
The tale of how Tua wound up at Bama starts with Fromm.
He was the top-rated quarterback recruit and had a long commitment to Alabama. So Nick Saban did not bother to really recruit another quarterback since, with Mac Jones, he had his fulfillment of signal callers for that class.
When Kirby Smart got the Georgia job, the Georgia native Fromm them flipped in what was essentially the 11th hour of the recruiting process.
Suddenly left with a huge vacancy at a key position, Saban was forced to scramble like, well, Tua.
This is where Sarkisian became involved in the process (pun intended). Sark had just been fired from USC and, as part of Saban’s Former Trojan Coaches Revival Program, had been hired as an offensive assistant at Alabama. Sarkisian had gone to see Tagovailoa in Hawaii and came away so impressed he was ready to hand the quarterback a scholarship to USC.
So he mentioned to Saban something along the lines of “you should check out this kid from Hawaii” and bam, Tagovailoa went from eating plate lunches to Dreamland Ribs.
Needless to say, I found it quite interesting that Tagovailoa and Fromm wound up dueling in the National Championship game with Tua coming out the clear winner. In fact, Tagovailoa is blowing by Fromm as a dynamic play-making quarterback, far outpacing what Fromm would have done had he signed with the Tide.
There is little doubt that if Fromm had kept his commitment to Alabama, Jalen Hurts would still be the starting quarterback with Fromm coming in only as a being-groomed backup.
It’s funny how things work out sometimes.