HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a fairytale freshman season for the University of Alabama football team, Tua Tagovailoa returned home to the islands this evening to get some much needed rest and more importantly, quality time with his family time.
"It's just a good opportunity for me to come back home and spend some time with my family again, aside from my parents," Tagovailoa said shortly after arriving to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. "Get home, rejuvenate, I think this is important to me to be able to rebuild my relationship with family members at home and also see my old school teachers and what not."
The former Saint Louis star quarterback lit the college football world on fire this past January in the national championship game, guiding the Crimson Tide in the second half and overtime to a come from behind victory.
Tagovailoa came off the bench in place for starter Jalen Hurts and showcased why he was so highly regarded coming out of high school as a five star prospect. Unfortunately for Tagovailoa, he injured his left index finger during the first practice of spring which limited his participation in passing drills.
"I think (spring practice) went pretty well," he said. "I think I took more mental reps than anything, but the amount of reps that I did get to take, physically, i think they were pretty good for me. But at the same time, i'm a person who learns more by doing and this time that I have off as well, I'm gonna have to start doing those on my own."
Expectations are high for Tagovailoa going into his sophomore season and it's unknown if he'll be named the starter under center in favor of Hurts. But the only thing Tagovailoa really cares about regarding next season is bringing another title back Tuscaloosa.
"Next season, you want to win it again," he said. "But as far as now, I'm focused on getting better as far as my finger and I'm just focused on what I got to do now. Focus on the team, focus on getting better at whatever I need to do this offseason - footwork, getting plays down and what not. I'm just glad I'm home to spend time with my family."