The Heisman Trophy is given to a college football player, as defined by the Heisman Trust, whose "performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity" and also epitomizes a "great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work." While the award is often times synonymous with simply wins and massive statistics, it's important to remember the human spirit the award embodies.
By that definition, there is no case in college football more deserving of the award than that of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The superstar QB was way more than one of the top-rated passers in college football -- Tagovailoa embodies exactly the kind of young man every kid should look up to.
Leading up to the Alabama Crimson Tide's biggest football game of the 2018 against the LSU Tigers, how was the nation's most talked about quarterback spending his time? By giving it to a kid who needed a little boost the most.
Sid Hobbs was battling cancer for the second time in his young life. After seven years in remission, doctors discovered a second brain tumor, which he re-entered treatment for. Sid loves sports, plays catcher and second base on his baseball team, and he's a cornerback on the football team.
On Tuesday before the LSU game, Sid was surprised with a FaceTime call from his favorite quarterback, and Alabama's star player delivered an awesome prayer that embodies the selflessness and spirit of a true Heisman.
Tua Tagovailoa's Prayer
"Father God, I just want to thank you for my little buddy right here, he's sick, and I just ask that you protect his heart and guard him and his mind from every little thing that's distracting him, Father. I just pray that you heal him Father, in Jesus' name, your word is his and your strength will heal him Father. And so, I commend that over my little man's life, Father. And I just ask that you be with him and his family. Give them comfort, Father, to know that everything is going to be alright. We pray all these things in Jesus' name. Amen."
-- Tua Tagovailoa's Prayer
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Push back the memory of Tua coming in at halftime to beat the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2018 national championship game. Set aside the rankings that Tagovailoa was leading an offense averaging the most yards per game (565.6) and most points (51.3) in all of college football. Forget the facts that Tua led the SEC in completion percentage, passing efficiency, touchdowns and was well on his way to breaking all of Alabama's single-season passing records.
This Hawaii native is so much more than an elite quarterback. Tua is an elite young man, and he continues to prove it week after week off of the field.
How often do you see head coach Nick Saban smile and joke on camera? Apparently, it takes a big hug from arguably the greatest quarterback to wear the crimson and white after the LSU game to break down his coaching exterior.
Individual awards, another national title, and the No. 1 ranking in college football are just icing on the cake for Tua Tagovailoa. This kid is a true superstar for what he does off the field, rather than on it.
UPDATE: Almost one year after meeting his hero via FaceTime, Sid got the chance to spend one October day at the Alabama football team facilities, meet head coach Nick Saban, and of course, play a little basketball with his all-time favorite player.
This post was originally published November 7, 2018.
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