Galu Tagovailoa: Best part of Tua’s Bama career was ‘watching him give glory to God all the time’
Speaking with WBRC’s Christina Chambers, Galu also – not for the first time by any stretch – gave a powerful testimony about his and his family’s faith in God.
Galu described the past two weeks or so as being “really crazy.”
“Some tough, tough decisions to make,” the father added, referring to whether Tua would return to the University of Alabama for his senior season or move on to start his professional career. “And we got through it.”
He admitted that he has been having trouble sleeping, and then added that prayer helped put his mind at ease so he could get some sleep at least.
“[L]ately I couldn’t sleep,” Galu shared. “It was tough — just thinking of the whole thing, we thought about him coming back, we thought about what are the pros and the cons, and then him leaving, what are the pros and the cons. I think today was just one of the days that I finally got to get some rest… 21 days of prayer, it’s really helping… [I said] a prayer this morning, me and my wife… it helped me sleep and it helped bring some peace of mind and just relax.”
While Galu was carrying the stress of the important decision, he emphasized that Tua bore the brunt of the situation.
When the star quarterback on Monday morning officially announced the decision in a press conference alongside Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban, Galu advised that it was a major “sigh of relief” for Tua.
“We didn’t know the decision until the day of,” the father explained. “We kept going back and forth with him on ‘what’s the deal?’ you know. ‘Are you looking at going, not going?’ And he kept telling us that he just had to talk to coach (Saban) and was still undecided.”
Prayer and spiritual guidance were majorly involved in Tua’s process, as well as the family’s.
“We asked him to just allow the Lord to just guide his decision,” Galu said. “We talked to our pastors… our home pastor here, Pastor Chris Hodges (of Church of the Highlands). And he’s been talking with Pastor Perry Stone and the things that he’s been going through. There were a lot of good things that were mentioned. Pastor Chris was saying we [have to] go with what brings peace. And he has to go with that.”
“And I guess the decision is what he made, it brings peace to [Tua],” Galu added.
He then talked about the family’s amazing journey from Hawaii to living in Alabama, with Tua’s Monday press conference acting as a moment to pause and reflect on how they got this far — as well as what comes next.
“It was a leap of faith coming out here,” Galu outlined. “We sacrificed our jobs, left our jobs back home, we left our [extended] family back home.”
Galu continued to say that Tua’s decision was merely the latest leap of faith.
“We believe that it is God’s plan,” he stressed, “for him to move on to his next journey of his life.”
The father explained that Tua has not told his parents what ultimately swayed him to decide to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, advising that Tua told them the decision after they arrived at the UA Athletics complex on Monday morning as the quarterback prepared to work with the department’s communications team on his speech.
“He said, ‘I’m going to go.’ And that’s when his mom broke down, we teared up,” Galu detailed. “And then we had a quick prayer. We prayed on it, wanted to make sure his heart was going to be right when he makes that announcement and (to make sure) that’s what he really wants to do.”
Chambers then brought up the viral video she captured in August 2018, from the opening game in which Tua made his first start for the Tide. The powerful shot captured Galu and his wife, Diane, praying in the stands.
While it was believed at the time that they were praying after seeing their son was selected as the starter as he went on to the field, Galu on Tuesday explained that the video was actually taken before they knew if Tua or Jalen Hurts would start. The Tagovailoa parents, Galu said, were praying for the success and wellbeing of whomever the starter would be, whether that be their son or Hurts.
“That was a special moment,” Galu reminisced. “We just told ourselves that whoever comes out and becomes the starter, we have to support him and we’ll pray. We know we’re going to pray for either or, whether it was Tua or Jalen. We just started praying. They didn’t even make that announcement, Tua hadn’t even run out yet. But we just prayed on whoever was going to be the starter to take the team that last year.”
Asked by Chambers what his favorite play of Tua’s was during his time in Tuscaloosa, Galu said there were too many to pick just one.
“[B]ut I think the most exciting thing to me was just watching him give glory to God all the time,” Galu added.
He would go on to say that he hopes Tua’s most lasting legacy at the University of Alabama is people remembering what kind of person, not just player, he is.
“He loves Alabama. This kid loves Alabama. Especially his relationship with Coach Saban,” Galu told Chambers. “I think that’s something that he’s going to cherish for the rest of his life, just what he’s built with Coach Saban. Not just on the field, but also off the field. He’s learned a lot from Coach. There’s so much knowledge and wisdom from Coach Saban — it’s something that he can carry with him …”
Galu said that Tua also “loves people” and “to have fun.”
Now, Galu and Diane are said to be “embracing” Tua’s journey into the next stage of his life.
“We’re excited,” the father emphasized. “That’s something that me and my wife have talked about. Wherever God puts him, it’s a place where we feel that it’s Tua’s duty and job to reach out to that state and the people of the team that he’s going to be playing for. The journey that he is on is God’s journey, not our journey. And that’s what we’re excited about.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn