Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is weighing a combination of factors in terms of whether to depart for the NFL or return to school for his senior season.
Tagovailoa recently underwent season-ending hip surgery and his current health status has caused his projections to drop from near the top of the draft to outside the top 10 among many NFL draft analysts.
How high is high enough?
But being a Top 10 or 15 pick would be tempting to the Crimson Tide star.
“I think that’d be tough to pass up,” Tagovailoa said Thursday during a media session with reporters. “But there’s a lot more to it than that in some aspects.”
Tagovailoa was using crutches Thursday and said he had his first rehab session on Wednesday in Birmingham, Ala.
He said doctors told him he will fully recover from the hip injury suffered Nov. 16 against Mississippi State, and they don’t expect there to be any effect on his football career.
But the timetable for when he plays next is still unknown.
“This isn’t something that I can rush,” Tagovailoa said of playing football in 2020. “If I want to play to my full potential, I know I can’t just come back and play on it as if it were my ankle. I think a lot of has to go into my decision-making too, as to whether I stay or leave.”
- Rang: Tua’s talent trumps injuries – for now
- Tua undergoes hip surgery
- Tagovailoa suffers season-ending injury
Tagovailoa also had surgery to repair a sprained ankle in October but the 21-year-old junior still passed for 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns and just three interceptions in nine games this season.
In three seasons at Alabama, the 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up has thrown for 7,442 yards with 87 touchdown passes and only 11 interceptions in 684 attempts.
Tagovailoa has plenty of time to weigh his options as the deadline to enter the draft is Jan. 20.
One thing he understands is that the decision is a huge one.
“This is probably going to be the biggest decision of my life,” Tagovailoa said. “It’s a really, really big decision, man. Everyone wants to know.”
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)