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Alabama QB Taulia Tagovailoa, brother of Tua, transfers to Maryland

Taulia Tagovailoa spent one year at Alabama, playing in parts of five games. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Alabama quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa will transfer to Maryland, the Terrapins announced Friday night. Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Heisman Trophy finalist Tua Tagovailoa, was a freshman for the Crimson Tide this past season and will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Tagovailoa will need to be granted a waiver by the NCAA before he can play for the Terrapins.

Tagovailoa appeared in five games last season for the Crimson Tide, completing 9 of 12 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Out of high school, he was rated as the No. 4 pro-style quarterback in the country by 247 Sports.

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“I’m so excited to start the next chapter of my career at the University of Maryland,” Tagovailoa said in a statement released by the school. “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 [Michael] 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.”

Tagovailoa’s older brother set school records for the Crimson Tide and orchestrated Alabama’s second-half comeback in the 2017 national championship game. He was the starter for two seasons and was recently selected as the No. 5 pick in the NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins. Locksley coached Tua Tagovailoa while serving as Alabama’s offensive coordinator before he was hired to coach the Terrapins in December 2018.

“Taulia has outstanding field vision and excellent pocket awareness,” Locksley said in a statement. “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.”

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Tagovailoa, listed at 5-foot-11 and 208 pounds by Alabama, joins a Maryland program that has had little stability at the quarterback position in recent years. Josh Jackson, the starter in 2019, completed 47.3 percent of his passes and threw for 1,274 yards. Jackson, who transferred from Virginia Tech, missed two games in 2019 with an ankle injury and will be back for his senior season. The Terps finished last season 3-9, with their only Big Ten win coming against Rutgers.

Tyrrell Pigrome served as the backup quarterback in 2019 and announced his decision to transfer in February. Rising redshirt freshman quarterback Lance LeGendre showed flashes of potential in his limited appearances. This offseason, Maryland also added quarterback Evan Lewandowski, a transfer from Wisconsin La Crosse, a Division III school. Lewandowski threw for 2,804 yards last season.

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