Tua Tagovaila: Who is the breakout Alabama quarterback?

In arguably of the boldest moves in Nick Saban's legendary career, the Alabama head coach inserted true freshman from Hawaii.

Kahron Spearman

During and after Alabama capturing a fifth national championship in nine years in a 26-23 triumph over a capable Georgia team, the big questions are centered around Tua Tagovailoa, the little-known true freshman leading the Tide.

Jalen Hurts, the SEC Offensive Player of the Year, went just 3 of 8 passing in the first half. With the Tide's run game also being swallowed by the Bulldog defense, head coach Nick Saban went to the young Hawaiian.

Tagovailoa delivered, finishing with 166 yards, three touchdowns, and one of the guttiest plays in recent college football history - a 41-yard strike to DaVonta Smith, immediately after taking an awful sack.

No disrespect to Jalen, but the real thought was, you know, they came into the game thinking we were going to run the ball and be able to run quarterback runs, which we made a couple of explosive plays on. But with the absence of a passing game and being able to make explosive plays and being able to convert on third down, I didnt feel we could run the ball well enough, and I thought Tua would give us a better chance and a spark, which he certainly did.

Nick Saban
Head coach, Alabama

Tagovailoa arrived at Tuscaloosa as the nations No. 1 dual-threat quarterback of the 2017 class. He's Hawaiis all-time leader in passing yards, eclipsing records of former Saint Louis High School (Honolulu) and University of Hawaii quarterback Timmy Chang.

Tagovailoa left the island state with 8,158 passing yards and 84 touchdowns along with 1,727 rushing yards and 27 scores, and a state title.

Southern California was his lead school until he and his family visited the Tuscaloosa campus. 

One interesting note: Alabama didn't offer Tagovailoa until they'd lost fellow quarterback prodigy Jake Fromm who ended up across the field, playing for Georgia.