Alabama’s Freshman QB on Winning the National Championship: ‘All Glory Goes to God’
Alabama’s freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa didn’t know he was going to play in Monday’s championship game until right before the second half began. He had little experience leading the team, having rarely played during the season.
But it was Tagovailoa who led the Crimson Tide to victory when Alabama beat Georgia 26-23 in overtime.
Alabama was down 13-0 at halftime. The run game wasn’t working, starting quarterback Jalen Hurts was ineffective. Coach Nick Saban made a gutsy decision. He would bench Hurts and go with the freshman from Hawaii with a rifle for a left arm. Tagovailoa went 14-24 for 166 yards and 3 touchdown passes. His stunning 41-yard pass in overtime won the game and forever cemented Tagovailoa’s place in Alabama football lore.
Yet rather than brag about his performance, Tagovailoa humbly gave all the glory to God.
‘All Glory Goes to God’
“First and foremost I’d like to thank my Savior Jesus Christ. With Him all things are possible,” he said. “All glory goes to God. I can’t describe what He’s done for me and my family. Who would’ve ever thought I would’ve been here right now in this moment? And I thank God for that.”
Tagovailoa wasn’t just spouting off after a great game. According to an interview with AL.com in 2016, he committed to Alabama in part because the coaches and players attended church. He witnessed it when he took a trip to Tuscaloosa before his decision. Asked what was memorable about the trip, he said:
There were so many things, but the most important one is when I went to church with one of the coaches. It was amazing to see coaches going to church. I got to see players going to church. It was amazing to see. I was raised going to church every Sunday. The atmosphere over there, it’s just amazing over there.
When asked what he’d like his fans to know about him off the field, he replied:
I feel that’s not up to me. That’s up to the fans. They’ve been watching the film. I’m just doing my job and my job is to play the sport that I love. I use my sport and my talent as a tool to spread God’s word. Whatever I get out of it, all glory goes to Him.
Meanwhile, the first person to race to congratulate Tagovailoa after that amazing 41-yard bomb and victory? The player he had replaced, Jalen Hurts.