On Monday, January 6, Tua Tagovailoa announced he will be entering the 2020 NFL Draft. The Alabama football star held a press conference to share his decision and he expanded on his comments in a lengthy statement shared with Crimson Tide fans after his public statement.
“First and foremost, I want to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ for the opportunity to have a decision to make,” Tagovailoa wrote. “My love for the University of Alabama, our coaches, our fans, and my teammates have made this especially har for me. I have had the advice and counsel of my parents, my family, and coaches in going through a thorough analysis of the alternatives. After lots of prayers, thoughts, and guidance, I have decided to declare for the 2020 NFL draft.
“I can’t express how grateful I am to have attended the greatest school in college. I cherish the memories that I’ve made with my friends, family, and loved ones along the way. I want to honor and thank coach Saban for the chance to play for him. I’m forever grateful that I not only got to build a great relationship with someone like him, but I also got to play for him. Thank you Steve Sarkisian and our entire coaching staff for helping me enhance my skills this year.”
Throughout his career with the Crimson Tide, the Hawaii native has thrown for 7,442 yards and 87 touchdowns. He entered the year as a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
His letter continued: “Thank you Jeff Allen and your athletic training staff for the first-class treatment that you’ve shown my family and me. To all of those behind the scenes that don’t get enough credit, thank you, thank you, thank you. I want to extend my appreciation also to (senior associate athletics director, student services Jon) Deavor and our academic advisors for the help and support they’ve given me. To our athletic director, Greg Byrne, thank you for the many talks we’ve had and for the tremendous support you’ve given me.
“To my teammates, thank you for the lifetime of memories and lessons. Thank you for the laughs, the love, and all of the hard work that came with helping shape me to be who I am today. I’m going to miss you all. To Bama Nation, thank you all for a great three years of passion, love, and support. Thank you for taking our family in as your own.”
“To my parents, thank you for giving me everything you both had and instilling it in me. Thank you for your continuous support, and prayers. I want to thank my extended family and everyone who has been involved in my process. Like I’ve heard my parents say many times, it takes a village to raise a child, so thank you all.
“There will still be a Tagovailoa playing football at Alabama: My brother, (redshirt freshman quarterback) Taulia. I plan to stay close to the university and always be a part of the Alabama family. God bless and Roll Tide!”
The 2020 NFL Draft will take place in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 23 to April 25. Las Vegas edged out bids from cities like Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Cleveland/Canton.
In recent years, the NFL has strayed from tradition and moved the draft out of New York City, where it had been held for years.
In 2015, the NFL Draft moved to Chicago, Illinois which marked the first time since 1965 that the draft was held outside of New York City. It was held at Auditorium Theatre in Grant Part which marked the first draft to feature an outdoor component. The draft returned to Chicago in 2016 after the great reception a year prior. In 2017, the draft shifted to Philadelphia where it was held on the iconic Rocky Steps outside of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was the most attended draft in NFL history with more than 250,000 fans.
Then, in 2018, the draft was held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and it marked more NFL first’s. It was the first time in history that the draft was held in the state of Texas, while also being the first draft to take place in an NFL stadium. The 2019 NFL Draft was held in Nashville, Tennessee.