The Miami Dolphins’ head coach, Brian Flores, announced Tuesday morning that rookie Tua Tagovailoa will be their new starting quarterback. Former starter and 38-year old veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the backup to Tagovailoa for the remainder of the 2020 season.
Tagovailoa was the Miami Dolphins’ first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, being taken after only Joe Burrow, Chase Young, Jeff Odukah and Andrew Thomas. He was a star playing quarterback for the University of Alabama, winning the National Championship in 2017. Tagovailoa finished his college career with a 69% passer completion percentage, 7,442 passing yards, 87 touchdown passes and only 11 interceptions in a three-season span. The future was bright for Tagovailoa, being one of the best quarterbacks in college, and looking like he was going to carry that same play into the National Football League (NFL). However, Tagovailoa had a major setback at the end of his college career.
In his final season at Alabama in 2019, he suffered a broken hip that required season-ending surgery. Everybody began to doubt him and if he’ll ever play like before. Nobody even knew if Tagovailoa would be back on the field.
Since his injury, Tagovailoa has been trying to defy the odds, wanting to be remembered as a great quarterback In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins took a risk and took Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick in the draft and that’s because they believed in him. They saw greatness in him, and now, he is their starter.
In week six of the NFL season, Tagovailoa made his NFL debut in the closing minutes of the Dolphin’s 24-0 win over the New York Jets. Only two days later, he was named the starter. His NFL dreams were coming true right before his eyes. The photograph to the left is a picture of Tagovailoa sitting on the field after the game at Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins. He wanted to take it all in that this was no longer a dream. He posted on Instagram with the caption “Come a long way. The journey continues. #BLESSED.” He has come a long way, and the journey is truly just about to start because he is set up for success.
The best college players are drafted to the worst NFL teams because they are in the most need for new stars, so the draft is based around the teams that have the worst record, which then get the highest draft picks. Tagovailoa has a top ten tight end to throw to, Mike Gesicki, and wide receiver, DeVante Parker, who had over 1200 receiving yards last season. He also has a great offensive line up with Ted Karras, Ereck Flowers and Soloman Kindley protecting him from opposing defenses.
Tagovailoa is set up for success. He has gotten further in his career than many people believed he would after his horrible injury. Many Dolphins fans, Alabama fans, and football fans are excited to see him make his starting NFL debut in week 8 vs Aaron Donald and the Los Angeles Rams.