Alabaster, Ala. (WIAT) – For the Tagovailoa’s, family is everything. That’s why they moved more than 4,000 miles from Hawaii to Alabaster to support freshman quarterback Tua at the University of Alabama.
The big move, means big changes for everyone in the family, like Tua’s younger brother Taulia who’s enrolled at Thompson High school for his upcoming junior football season.
“There was a time zone change and just getting used to this community and the school, just the people over here, it was a big change from Hawaii, but having brothers over here on the football team really helped the transition get easier, and with a good coach like Coach [Mark] Freeman and his staff, made the transition easier for me,” said Taulia.
“He walked in the door wanting to be one of our family and our kids want him to be one of our family, they want to be part of his family. And it’s just been a great transition for him and for our kids,” said Thompson head coach Mark Freeman.
In Hawaii, Taulia threw for more than 6,700 yards in just two years; talent that Freeman is anxious to see wearing black and red.
“He can help us in a lot of ways, he’s played football before and he’s thrown the ball a lot. What we want to know, we want to get him to where he can play football and understand the game. Do we hand it off, run it, do we throw it and he studies the game. He meets with me everyday,” said Freeman.
As for his relationship with Tua, Taulia says he drives to Tuscaloosa every weekend to visit and he’s excited to see his brother on the college stage.
“It’s a blessing, not too many people can have the opportunity to sit in the family section at Bryant Denny Stadium, and I hope Tua can get the [starting] spot,” said Taulia.
Although the young Tagovailoa is proud of brother’s success, he wants to be sure to create his own identity.
“People are always going to compare me and Tua just because we’re brother and stuff; but I have my own style of playing and he has his own style. I’m my own self and he’s his own self,” said Taulia.
After just a month in Alabama, Taulia already knows his favorite thing about the south …
“Probably chicken … Zaxby’s.”