Freshman Tua Tagovailoa, who came off the bench to lead the Crimson Tide to Monday's national title win over Georgia, had a message of support for Jalen Hurts. "Proud of him", said Mariota, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN. And for all the fans that are against Jalen, you against me too. "That's who he is".
Mariota and Tagovailoa have kept in touch since high school, and Tagovailoa has drawn so many comparisons to his older comrade that he has even been labeled "little Mariota".
With a whole week to prepare for the second playoff game of his brief NFL career, Mariota stayed up late to watch his protégé emerge onto the college football landscape.
And if Monday is, in fact, any indication, certainly Tagovailoa just created a quarterback controversy in Tuscaloosa, Ala. All three led their current teams to big wins.
Kiffin said the coaching staff actually preferred Tagovailoa.
Statement made by Tagovailoa, one not behind the closed practice doors. "I've got nothing to be sad about". I think he understood that. "He didn't really separate me from everybody".
"I always hope that I can help in any way I can because that's how guys in front of me helped me out", Mariota told reporters.
"How this second half played out changes college football, because Tua is going to be one of the best quarterbacks in college football".
Mariota, in typical fashion, refused to take credit.
"He's done it all himself", he said, brushing off any potential praise. How he carries himself is from where we grew up.
Maybe Tagovailoa's performance will give Mariota a little more juice to pull off another memorable performance Saturday night at.
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