Dolphins Notebook: Ogbah Helps Out, Tua Topics, Surtain Shines

Miami Dolphins defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah lent a helping hand to help feed children affected by the severe weather in Houston
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Miami Dolphins defensive end Emmanual Ogbah was born in Nigeria, but moved to Houston at the age of 9 and it's obvious that city still holds a special place in his heart.

As proof, it's included in his Twitter bio.

And when the city recently was affected by severe winter weather, Ogbah made sure to do his part to help out.

Ogbah made a donation to Kids Meal Inc. to help provide food for needy children.

"Houston always has a place in my heart," Ogbah wrote on Twitter, "and whatever I can do to give back to my community, I'm willing to do."

Ogbah is coming off a tremendous first season with the Dolphins after signing a two-year contract as an unrestricted free agent last March.

TUA OFF TO THE RACES

"Drives, start your engines!"

That's what Tua Tagovailoa will be shouting (virtually) when he serves as one of two honorary officials for the NASCAR Dixie Vodka 400 in Homestead on Sunday.

The other honorary official will be former University of Miami and New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

“Having Tua and Jonathan join us for this special weekend is a true honor, and we are thrilled to host them,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Al Garcia. “Tua helped to return the Dolphins to their winning ways last year, and Jonathan was a key member of several successful University of Miami teams, continuing the school’s tradition of greatness. We know that many NFL players have recently taken a vested interest in NASCAR, and we are happy that both will have the opportunity to see just how exciting our sport can be.”

TUA SCOUTING REPORTS

Tagovailoa has been very visible early in the offseason — by far the most visible Dolphins player — as he continues to promote events and products.

Another stop this week was a visit with Yahoo.com where he promoted "Tua Days" for Muscle Milk.

During the accompanying interview, Tagovailoa once again refused to use any excuses for a rookie season he has described as disappointing, but there was a new twist this time as he was asked for quick scouting reports on the four 2020 Alabama skill position draft prospects with whom he played in college.

Not surprisingly, Tagovailoa had nothing but praise for quarterback Mac Jones, running back Najee Harris, and wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.

As Yahoo writer Eric Edholm pointed out, maybe the most telling moment came when Tagovailoa talked about Harris and offered unsolicited that he was hoping they would be reunited next season.

SMITH'S CHOICE

On the flip side, a lot has been made of Smith telling an NFL official who asked that he preferred Jones over Tagovailoa, and apparently did so without hesitation.

But is it really a big deal? And will it really affect the Dolphins' decision if they get to a point where they're considering taking Smith or maybe another wide receiver?

First off, is it really surprising that Smith would pick Jones considering it was Jones who was his quarterback during his Heisman Trophy season? Also, is it possible that Smith was throwing some love toward Jones to help him in the eyes of scouts considering Jones is about to get drafted and Tagovailoa already is in the NFL?

Let's ask Smith the same question after everybody is firmly into the NFL and let's see if his answer changes.

This has the feel of much ado about nothing.

And didn't Smith said around Senior Bowl time that he had talked to Tagovailoa about "running it back"?

Let's just put it out there right now: If the Dolphins end up selecting another wide receiver over Smith in the 2021 NFL draft, it will have nothing whatsoever to do with Smith saying he prefers Jones.

PROPS TO SURTAIN 

Big congratulations to former Dolphins three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Surtain, who had been selected High School Football America National Coach of the Year.

Surtain, who played for the Dolphins from 1998 through 2004, coached Plantation American Heritage to the state 5A championship in December.

Surtain has a 58-6 record in his five seasons as head coach at American Heritage, where he coached his son Patrick Surtain II, a cornerback likely to be a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft after a stellar career at the University of Alabama.

The coaching staff at American Heritage includes five other former NFL players, including former Dolphins wide receiver Oronde Gadsden and former Dolphins linebacker Anthony Harris.