Former Bama Teammate Comments On Expectations For Tua's Second NFL Season

By Jason Hall

March 5, 2021

A former college teammate believes Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will be "amazing" in his second season, amid reports of the Dolphins' uncertainty of his future as a franchise quarterback.

New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, who saw major statistical improvement during his second NFL season, expects the same for Tagovailoa, his former teammate for his final two seasons with the Alabama Crimson Tide.

“I think he’ll be an amazing quarterback, man,” Williams said during an appearance CBS Sports Radio’s 'The Zach Gelb Show' Wednesday (March 3.) “He’s an amazing leader. Great arm, great player, great leader, just a great teammate in general, man, and I just think, just like me, some guys need more time than other guys to become that player that everybody know they can be in the NFL, man, so he probably struggled a little bit his first year, man, but I’m pretty sure he’s not going to struggle his second year just due to the learning and experience that he had getting a chance to be on the field his first year, and the things he did wrong his first year he won’t let hisself do wrong again his second year. It’s just how we built at Alabama.”

Williams' praise comes as reports indicate the Dolphins may not be sold on Tagovailoa as their franchise quarterback, despite the quarterback having only made nine starts and holding a winning (6-3) record during his rookie season.

The former Alabama standout has been mentioned in several trade scenarios and split time with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, even after taking over as Miami's starter last season.

Recent comments from other former teammates unintentionally ignited those rumors as former Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle were each reported to have picked Mac Jones over Tagovailoa when asked to compare the two former Crimson Tide quarterbacks.

During the Senior Bowl in January, Heisman Trophy winner and former Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith was reportedly asked to choose between quarterbacks and former teammates Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones, Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer revealed in a recent edition of 'Monday Morning Quarterback.'

“The question was barely finished before Smith answered: 'Mac Jones,'” Breer wrote. “He was bold and definitive about it, as I heard it. And of course, it’s logical to some degree.”

Tagovailoa started for the Tide during Smith's sophomore and junior seasons, and also connecting with the then-freshman wide receiver on the game-winning touchdown pass in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game after taking over for former starter Jalen Hurts in the third quarter.

But Smith's Heisman Winning season took place in 2020, after Jones, a redshirt junior, took over as the Crimson Tide's starter in the absence of Tagovailoa, who was selected by the Miami Dolphins at No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft last April.

Former teammate Jaylen Waddle also seems to have a preference for Jones, despite having his most productive season playing alongside Tagovailoa as a freshman.

“I like Mac Jones,” Waddle said when asked by Andrew Siciliano to chose between the two Tide quarterbacks. “Both are great quarterbacks. I love Mac. He was a guy I came in with from Day 1. We were on the third team together and worked our way up.”

Smith won national championships alongside Tagovailoa in 2017 and Jones in 2020, while Waddle's only national title game with Jones this past season.

Photo: Getty Images

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