Former Alabama quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa announced Friday that he is transferring to Maryland, where he will reunite with ex-Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, who is entering his second season as head coach in College Park. As a sophomore, Tagovailoa would need a waiver granted by the NCAA in order to see action in the 2020 season for Maryland.
Tagovailoa, the younger brother of former Alabama star quarterback and now-Miami Dolphins signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa, appeared in five games as a true freshman in 2019 behind his brother and backup Mac Jones. He completed 9 of 12 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.
At Maryland, Tagovailoa should have an opportunity to win the starting job whenever he becomes eligible as Locksley continues to search for an efficient quarterback. Josh Jackson, heading into his senior year, started nine games last season but posted mixed results. Sophomore Tyler Desue and redshirt freshman Lance Legendre attempted a combined 17 passes in reserve action behind Jackson.
Tagovailoa was considered a four-star prospect and the No. 5 pro-style quarterback in the 2019 recruiting class by 247Sports. He was projected to enter preseason practice as the likely third-string quarterback on the Alabama roster behind junior Mac Jones and five-star freshman Bryce Young, however, leading to his decision to recently enter his name into the NCAA transfer portal.
The family’s relationship with Locksley was likely a key factor in Tagovailoa’s decision to pick Maryland, which is coming off a 3-9 season and has not finished with a winning record since 2014. Locksley was the offensive coordinator during Tua Tagovailoa’s freshman and sophomore seasons, which coincided with Taulia’s recruitment period.