Report: Tua Tagovailoa ‘not too sure’ on entering NFL draft — ‘Whatever God puts in my heart’
In a Tuesday interview with The Tuscaloosa News’ Cecil Hurt, University of Alabama star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa left the door open to a return to the Crimson Tide next season, saying ‘the right thing’ will ultimately be revealed by God.
In the early stages of recovering from surgery on his right hip, Tagovailoa said he was currently undecided on declaring for the NFL draft, which many have assumed he will do. He pointed to an official deadline by which he must make that decision.
“The deadline is between now and January 20,” the QB told The Tuscaloosa News. “I’m still talking with my parents about it. I’m still not too sure. A decision could come tomorrow, or I could wait and decide on the 20th of January.”
“Whatever God puts in my heart and my parents’ hearts, that will be the right thing,” he remarked.
In the interview, he outlined that he is carefully weighing the decision. Tagovailoa advised that a major factor will be how high he is projected to go in the draft as he continues to recover from the injury he sustained against Mississippi State just over three weeks ago.
He also spoke to his faith when discussing that injury, adding that it was ultimately his own decision to play or not in that game.
“What happened in the Mississippi State game was a freak accident but it was a blessing, too,” Tagovailoa advised. “This injury has touched more lives than me just playing football, more like a preacher preaching a great sermon. God has used it in a way that only he could portray.”
“If I had been hang-dog about this situation, the fans would feel the same way,” he added. “They would feed off the energy. But I’m happy. I’m okay. I’ve been given that strength. People look at that and feed off it. I’ve gotten over 11,000 letters, I think. Letters from Hawaii, Arizona, people all over the continent. They are well-wishers, but that lifts their lives, too.”
As far as the looming decision, the Crimson Tide record breaker is studying the pros and cons of “both sides of the spectrum.”
“There is a risk and a reward if I stay and a risk and a reward if I go,” Tagovailoa explained. “The risk if I stay is obviously, ‘Do I get hurt again?’ The reward is that I could come back and have another good year like my sophomore year and elevate myself back to the very top of the draft.”
“If I leave, I think the risk is a little higher,” he continued. “That risk would be how far do I drop in the draft. To me, it’s 50-50 between going in the first round and possibly going in the second round. If I go somewhere from first (overall) to around 24th, the money will be set. But let’s say — and I am just picking a number — that I go to the 31st pick. That would be about 9 million dollars. That’s a lot of money, an amount of money I’ve never had before, but it’s not high first-round money, and you can never make that money up. They say you can (make it up) on your next contract but money lost is money lost to me.”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn