Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa quickly became Heisman candidate
WHO: Tua Tagovailoa
YEAR/POSITION/SCHOOL: Sophomore, QB, Alabama
BIO: A native of Hawaii, Tagovailoa was a five-star recruit who came off the bench to lead a comeback in the national championship game to finish his freshman season. Beat out two-year starter Jalen Hurts.
KEY STATS: Passed for 3,353 yards and 37 touchdowns against four interceptions. Had a string of 194 passes without an interception starting in the third quarter of January’s title game with Georgia. Attempted only three fourth-quarter passes during the regular season with Alabama building big leads.
THE SKINNY: Opened the season as the betting favorite for the Heisman despite not starting a game, thanks largely to a performance in the national title game that included the 41-yard winning touchdown pass in overtime. Left the Southeastern Conference championship game in the same Atlanta stadium with a high ankle sprain. Injured early in the game and again late, it was a rare off-performance for Tagovailoa.