Tua Tagovailoa’s historic performance Monday night led to an incredible comeback for the true freshman in the national championship game, but his future at Alabama prior to the game was very much in doubt.
Florida Atlantic head coach Lane Kiffin, who was the offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide from 2014-16, said on “The Dan Patrick Show” that Tagovailoa would hav transferred had events not transpired as they did.
“The funny thing is, if this second half doesn’t flip like this and Alabama’s (not) moving the ball, it doesn’t change — people that really know what’s going on would tell you that Tua was leaving,” Kiffin said Tuesday. “Because Tua felt that he should’ve been the starting quarterback and had outperformed (Jalen Hurts) in practice, and coach (Nick Saban) never gave him an opportunity.”
It’s a remarkable turn of events for the quarterback from Hawaii, who completed 14 of 24 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns after coming into the game in the second half. Kiffin notes that now the script may have flipped on Hurts, who may end up being the quarterback who transfers following Tagovailoa’s performance.
“Now the story’s going to flip the other way, and the story’s going to be: Is Jalen going to leave?” Kiffin said. “Now Jalen’s such a great competitor, he may not. But most guys would.”
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