Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was the sure-fire, can't-miss, we-have-to-have-him prospect heading into the 2019 college football season. The social media hashtag #TankForTua spread like wildfire as rumors swirled that NFL teams like the Miami Dolphins were going to lose on purpose so they could land the left-handed Heisman Trophy finalist.
One play against the Mississippi State Bulldogs changed everything.
A right hip dislocation ended Tagovailoa's junior season, and ultimately, his Alabama Crimson Tide career. Support for the highly-accurate Hawaiian plummeted, and many now believe drafting him is a massive risk. Most recently, a former NFL GM suggested teams are concerned about Tagovailoa's long-term prospects and believe a total hip replacement is inevitable at some point in his career.
Ankle and wrist issues plagued Tagovailoa for stretches, but his talent is undeniable. After bursting onto the scene and rallying Nick Saban's team to win the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship game, Tagovailoa annihilated the school record for passing yards in a season, as well as setting the single-game, single-season and career touchdown pass marks in Tuscaloosa.
His 199.40 passer efficiency rating was the highest in FBS history before LSU's Joe Burrow came along.
Everyone counted Tagovailoa out, but he's shown huge progress ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. He's a star in the making, and his first endorsement deals are proving just that.
Tagovailoa shared his first commercial on his Instagram in partnership with Muscle Milk, in which he's sipping on a protein shake and showing off his recovery workouts.
Tua Tagovailoa's Muscle Milk Commercial
"Muscle Milk helps build muscles, but not the muscle that pushes you to comeback stronger after the world has counted you out. Sure, Muscle Milk helps build muscle, but it takes heart to build strength."
This was the second endorsement Tagovailoa shared in two days. He also announced a partnership with Bose Headphones, which figures to be only the start of his national recognition as he prepares to become the face of an NFL franchise.
The University of Alabama product won't be on the board very long after the first round of the NFL's virtual draft gets underway from April 23-25. Burrow is an apparent lock with the Cincinnati Bengals selecting first overall, but after that, Oregon's Justin Herbert, Utah State's Jordan Love and even Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts join Tagovailoa as the most interesting QB prospects in this year's draft.
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