Kirk Herbstreit on Tua: ‘He’s finding ways to lift up the spirits of everybody, including me’ — Chance of return is ’50-50′
Kirk Herbstreit provided some fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into Tua Tagovailoa’s approach to football and life on a recent edition of the ESPN College Football Podcast.
Herbstreit assessed what he thinks Tua’s chances to return to the Crimson Tide are based on his interview which aired on ESPN last week.
“It might sound crazy, but in college football these players still care about winning,” Herbstreit said. “Listening to Tua, there’s part of him that is not comfortable with how he went out.”
Considering those difficult circumstances, Herbstreit believes leading the Crimson Tide for another season is definitely on the table for Tua.
“I would guess it’s still 50-50 right now, and then in the next few weeks he’s going to let everybody know his intentions,” he remarked. “But I think he’s honestly, really back and forth at this point.”
Herbstreit pointed out that one of the highlights of his interview with Tua was being able to also speak with his parents.
Tua’s parents recounted to Herbstreit their first time seeing Tua after his injury.
“They kept talking about how emotional it was and everything they’d been through,” he said. “They kept talking about, ‘We’d go down and try to talk to him in the locker room and here’s Tua making us feel better. We’re trying to console him and he’s making us feel better.’”
Herbstreit then asked them where Tua got his uplifting spirit from.
“His mom paused for a second and then she just started weeping and like just crying about basically how much they love Tua, how much they appreciate him, almost like, ‘Why do we deserve a son like this? What did we do to deserve this?’ Not just his abilities but his spirit most importantly. She was just overcome with emotion. Even his father who is very stoic and very proud, he was as well.”
Having an opportunity to spend time with Tua enabled Herbstreit to gain a better understanding of the Tide quarterback’s character.
“He’s wired different,” elaborated Herbstreit. “He’s unique.”
ESPN’s star college football analyst continued, “He doesn’t feel sorry for himself. He’s not sitting around feeling sad. He’s finding ways to lift up the spirits of everybody, including me. I got done with him, like I felt better just about life, about people, about humanity when I got done sitting down with him.”
Herbstreit expressed his appreciation for Tua no matter what decision he makes about his future.
“He’s a special kid,” he concluded. “He’s one-of-a-kind, he really is.”
Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia