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Alabama’s Tagovailoa wins Sporting News Player of the Year

He did not walk home with the Heisman Trophy, but Tua Tagovailoa’s case of awards remains full.

The sophomore quarterback for Alabama won a trio of awards – Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, Walter Camp Player of the Year and Maxwell Player of the Year – this season, including two at the College Football Awards Show last week in Atlanta. 

His portfolio got even bigger on Monday as he earned Sporting News Player of the Year.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 218 pounds, the former five-star has reinvented Crimson Tide football – giving it an explosive attack on offense. He totaled 3,353 passing yards with 37 touchdowns to four interceptions, while setting a school record with 42 total scores this year. 

Tagovailoa is the fourth signal caller of the Nick Saban era to account for 3,000 passing yards and his 48 career scoring passes ties him with Jalen Hurts for second all-time in school history.

He amassed five games with at least 300 yards passing and turned in a massive Iron Bowl performance with 324 yards and six total scores (single-game mark) against Auburn. 

Behind him, the Tide’s offense scored at least 50 points in eight games and tallied 60 points in two conference matchups. Tagovailoa guided the program to an average of 47.9 points per contest; the highest mark for any team of the Saban era. Despite all the accolades and him delivering the team to a national title off the bench in 2017, his humility and love for his teammates are both things that earned him most valuable player honors from his brothers. 

Following the game-clinching touchdown from Jalen Hurts in the fourth quarter, Tagovailoa was one of the first players celebrating with his friend. He did not have his best game; however, showing support for others is what has kept this group together throughout the season. 

Although he would garner a spot as a second-team All-American from the Associated PressTagovailoa is now locked in for a battle with Oklahoma at Hard Rock Stadium (Miami, Fla.) on Saturday, Dec. 29 in the Orange Bowl via the College Football Playoff.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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