Breaking down Tagovailoa to Maryland
Many Maryland fans expected the addition of St. John’s (DC) running back Colby McDonald to the Terps’ class, but news broke just hours later that former Alabama quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa will transfer to Maryland.
"I'm so excited to start the next chapter of my career at the University of Maryland," said Tagovailoa as Maryland announced his transfer. "I'm incredibly grateful to all of the amazing people at Alabama, but am also thrilled to join the Terrapin Football Family. I have a great relationship with Coach Locksley and am excited to see what he's building. I can't wait to be part of it and I plan on working incredibly hard both on and off the field to make my family, teammates, coaches and fans proud."
The connection between head coach Mike Locksley and Tagovailoa dates back to the Terps’ head coach three-year tenure in Tuscaloosa, where Locksley built the trust with the family while coaching current Miami Dolphin quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. That trust built between Locksley and the family in Tuscaloosa was an integral piece to Taulia landing in College Park, and with that, the Terps now have another young quarterback in an evolving quarterback room.
In an offseason that has seen departures from seniors Tyrrell Pigrome and Max Bortenschlager, only for sophomore Tyler DeSue to follow shortly after, the quarterback room was left razor thin heading into spring ball but has since added Division III transfer Evan Lewandowski and now, Taulia Tagovailoa.
Maryland will look to turn the page with senior quarterback Josh Jackson looking to close his career out on a high note, while Locksley previously confirmed that sophomore quarterback Lance Legendre has regained full health since sustaining a shoulder injury in last fall’s loss to Nebraska. While Lewandowski previously confirmed with me that he will have to sit out this fall due to NCAA transfer rules, Tagovailoa can contest for a NCAA waiver to play next season.
His addition, though, provides more certainty to the quarterback room moving forward. Maryland has been in pursuit of Gonzaga quarterback Caleb Williams since Locksley took over the program, but the Sooners still hold the buzz heading into summer. Maryland has also expanded their quarterback search in the 2021 class with Quince Orchard (Md.) Brian Plummer the first to receive a new offer back in March.
The Terps went out west to uncover a new target when Loyola (Ca.) quarterback Brayden Zermeno added his first power five offer, while offensive coordinator Scottie Montgomery has kept in touch with Sierra Canyon (Ca.) quarterback Chayden Peery to keep Maryland in his top nine. Beyond the 2020 season, Maryland will have just two scholarship quarterbacks in Legendre and Tagovailoa so a second quarterback in the 2021 class is largely in play, but there is no doubt that Locksley is excited about his latest addition.
“Taulia has outstanding field vision and excellent pocket awareness,” said Locksley. “He’s a twitchy passer that has the ability to make and extend plays in and outside of the pocket because of his above-average athleticism. Taulia has terrific touch and trajectory on his throws and delivers the ball with above-average accuracy. He’s a highly competitive player that will bring great competition to a good quarterback room.”
Tagovailoa has three years of eligibility remaining.