NEW YORK, NEW YORK (HawaiiNewsNow) - Before Taulia Tagovailoa and his older brother Tua watched quarterback Marcus Mariota walk across a New York City stage, Heisman Trophy in hand, the brothers instead idolized a running back – and perhaps the most electric college football player of all-time.
“Our favorite player was Reggie Bush growing up,” says Taulia Tagovailoa. “When he won, Tua went crazy about it. So now, for my brother to be in the talk about the Heisman, it’s crazy. I think it’s a real blessing. It opens up platforms for us.”
On Saturday, Taulia – who is committed to playing for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, just like his older brother – could well have a new Heisman Trophy idol. Tua, who spent most of the year as the odds-on favorite to bring home the trophy, is a finalist, and the winner will be announced in a ceremony at the Playstation Theater in New York City.
In the meantime, Taulia says, he already draws inspiration from his older brother – especially when it comes to his work ethic.
“He was always a teacher and mentor, as well as my dad, to me,” Taulia Tagovailoa says. “Every time it was time to work, it was time to work. There was no playing around and stuff like that.”
His brother, already perhaps the best quarterback in the history of Crimson Tide football, also spends time preparing Taulia – potentially Tua’s back-up with the Tide, if only for another season, should the elder brother decide to turn pro – for the trials of college football.
“He always taught me, every time I would have questions about coverages and stuff like that, I would always ask,” says Taulia. “Sometimes he would just ask me if I needed help on anything, or how our season was going.”
Taulia already knows that the celebration he and his brother experienced watching Bush win the Heisman all those years ago won’t compare to the elation they’ll feel Saturday if Tua brings the award home. All that’s left is to wait and find out who will bring home the hardware.