Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa told the Dan Patrick Show that he was "really close" to transferring from the Crimson Tide during the 2017 season. Tagovailoa would have likely ended at USC.
Tagovailoa spent his freshman season as Alabama's backup behind Jalen Hurts. Tagovailoa, a Hawaii native, said he wanted the chance to start and playing on the west coast was additionally appealing.
"I wanted to have my parents see me play, my parents wanted to see me play," Tagovailoa said. "Just doing things for my parents, making my parents proud is the biggest thing I wanted to do, and I couldn't do it on the sidelines."
Tagovailoa got his chance in the 2017 national championship as he replaced Hurts at halftime against Georgia. He tossed three touchdowns against the Bulldogs, including a game-winning heave in overtime.
The junior QB is among the favorites for the Heisman Trophy in 2019. Tagovailoa has completed 77.7% of his passes this season for 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has yet to throw an interception in 2019.