QB Tua Tagovailoa goes No. 5 overall to Miami Dolphins in NFL Draft with faith as foundation

In the first round of an NFL draft unlike any other Thursday night, Tua Tagovailoa’s wild ride as the quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide culminated in his selection at fifth overall by the Miami Dolphins.

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“I think the biggest thing for me right now is just being able to take it in, soak it in, enjoy it with my family and get to work,” Tagovailoa said in a video by the Sun Sentinel while donning his Dolphins cap.

The 2020 draft is being held virtually this year for the first time ever due to the coronavirus outbreak. And even as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, members of NFL front offices and the draft prospects themselves set up with their families in their homes, Thursday night’s first round still reverberated with a familiar sense of celebration for all involved.

Tagovailoa wasn’t the only selection the Dolphins made in the first round. They gave Tagovailoa more protection with offensive tackle Austin Jackson at No. 18 and they bolstered their secondary with cornerback Noah Igbinoghene at No. 30.

Many Dolphins fans across the county believe the team may have found its quarterback for the future with the selection of Tagovailoa.

Coming to Tuscaloosa from Hawaii as a freshman, Tagovailoa had perhaps his most defining moment as a collegiate when he came in off the bench at halftime in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game and led the Crimson Tide to a 13-point comeback win over Georgia. He capped the epic comeback with a 41-yard game-winning pass in overtime.

He took over as the starter the following season, established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in college football and finished in second place for the Heisman Trophy. Last season — Tagovailoa’s junior year — ended early when he sustained a right hip dislocation in November. He was carted off the field and underwent major surgery.

Tagovailoa, who has been vocal about his faith in Christ since his arrival at Alabama, clung to God during his grueling regimen to rehab his knee in preparation for the draft.

The faith-based news network CBN News profiled Tagovailoa last September.

“For me, my foundation is my faith and my family,” he told CBN News. “You know, my faith is what keeps me motivated when I can’t even stay motivated myself. I’m just trying to play football, just trying to be able to take care of my family and be able to use my platform for the right reasons.”

Tagovailoa references Scripture in his Twitter bio and says he prays often on the field. He spoke about his faith with a national television audience after his title-game performance, and he has even been known to share Bible verses with players from other teams.

“The greatest gift that God could’ve ever given us was His Son,” Tagovailoa said to CBN News. “It’s not just a matter of hearing what Jesus Christ is. It’s a matter of getting to know who Jesus Christ is, to really understand and really feel the identity of who you are because of things that He’s done. And I’d say you can only find your identity through Him, if you know Him.”

The 2020 NFL Draft continues with the second and third rounds on Friday, while rounds four through seven will be held on Saturday.

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