Atlanta, GA - January 8, 2018 - Mercedes-Benz Stadium: Tua Tagovailoa (13) of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship game (Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images)
“First and foremost, I’d just like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With Him, all things are possible.”
Those were the words of Alabama’s freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in a postgame interview with ESPN’s Maria Taylor after throwing the game-winning touchdown in overtime to lift the Alabama Crimson Tide to a comeback win over Georgia and another national championship for Roll Tide.
For the second straight season, college football’s title game came down to the final play and reversing its fortune from a year ago, Alabama called on a true freshman who was still in high school a year ago. This morning, he woke up a national champion.
“All glory goes to God,” Tagovailoa shared on ESPN. “I can’t describe what He’s done for my family. Who would have ever thought I would ever been here right now in this moment? I thank God for that and I thank my teammates and Coach Saban for the opportunity.”
Tagovailoa never took a meaningful snap during the season, but at halftime of Monday night’s title game, Alabama coach Nick Saban recognized that a change needed to be made as his squad trailed 13-0.
And according to him, God did the rest.
“I was praying,” Tagovailoa said postgame. “I was speaking in tongues. It kept me calm.”
According to USA Today, Tua was doing a whole lot of praying. All game long. Praying before a play, after a play. On the sidelines. But the prayer wasn’t for a victory.
“I would say my poise comes from my faith,” Tagovailoa said. “I just pray for peace.”
And that peace helped him throw one of the biggest touchdown passes in college football history. A touchdown pass that gave Alabama college football’s national championship.
After the game, Tua shared a simple praise and thank you to his Creator.
Back in February of last year when Tua signed with Alabama, he cited his faith as the primary reason why he chose to roll with the Tide.
“First and foremost, it was their belief in God,” Tua told SB Nation in 2016. “Their belief in God was one of the biggest things that kind of struck me. That kind of lines up with everything in my life. It’s not really structured, ‘There’s God, and there’s anything else.’ It’s more, ‘God’s so in the middle, and everything revolves around Him.’ That’s the kind of atmosphere I want to surround myself with.”
“A lot of people are rooted in the Word over here just like back home,” Tagovailoa told BamaInsider.com “The Southern hospitality is almost the same as the love and the kindness that they show back at home.”
Just a few days ago, on December 30, Tua was a backup quarterback that many had never heard of. He was being interviewed by a Tuscaloosa Times reporter and if you listen to his answers, he sounded the same then as he did last night when millions of people were praising him for his game-winning touchdown pass.
On the biggest stage college football has to offer, Tua responded with his play on the field and his reaction off the field after the game. “I don’t know how Coach Saban found me all the way in Hawaii from Alabama. I just thank God he found me and we’re here right now.”
Congratulations to Tua and all of Alabama as they celebrate once again as college football’s national champions.
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