In an offseason in which he’s had Maryland football rolling on the recruiting trail, head coach Mike Locksley landed a key transfer portal commitment Friday night.
Former Alabama quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, brother of newly drafted Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, announced his decision to transfer to College Park in a Twitter post.
“This decision was not easy & has been prayed on non stop. Thank you to my Pastors & my family for always interceding on my behalf,” Tagovailoa said. “Today, I am blessed to share that I will be continuing my academic & athletic journey at the University of Maryland. 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!”
The rising-sophomore entered the transfer portal on May 8, and ended the process just seven days later.
Tagovailoa played in five games during his freshman season in 2020, completing 9-of-12 passes for 100 yards and one touchdown. Because he played in five games and couldn’t redshirt, a waiver is needed in order for immediate eligibility.
Tagovailoa was a consensus four-star recruit in the 2019 recruiting class, coming in as the No. 5 pro-style quarterback and No. 180 player in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite.
“Taulia has outstanding field vision and excellent pocket awareness,” Locksley said 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.”
Standing at 5’11, 208 pounds, Taulia is just two inches shorter than his older brother and right-handed instead of left-handed, but the two are essentially mirrored images of each other on the field otherwise.
Taulia had extensive playing time during the 2019 spring game as an early enrollee and showed great poise for someone just months removed from high school against a Crimson Tide defense. He showed great ability to stand in the pocket and deliver accurate passes while also being a smart, capable runner when the need arises.
Maryland head coach Mike Locksley coached Tua at Alabama, giving him an inside track with the Tagovailoa family during this process. Just before the NFL draft — where Tua went No. 5 overall to the Miami Dolphins — he joined Locksley on ‘Late Night with Locks’ and detailed their relationship.
With quarterbacks Tyrrell Pigrome and Max Bortenschlager entering the transfer portal, the Terps only have rising senior Josh Jackson and redshirt freshman Lance Legendre on scholarship alongside Tagovailoa.
After the 2020 season, Tagovailoa and Legendre could each have two years of eligibility remaining while the Terps have DIII transfer Evan Lewandowski eligible in 2021 and figure to add one or two players at the position in the 2021 class.