His mind may not be made up just yet, but it will be soon.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa revealed on Wednesday after No. 13 Alabama’s 35-14 win against No. 14 Michigan in the Citrus Bowl that he plans on announcing whether he will declare for the NFL draft or return to Tuscaloosa for another season on Monday.
“That’s a decision that I think his family needs to make, and I’m sure when they make that decision, they’ll let everybody know,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said after the game, via AL.com. “I think it’s our responsibility, our job, to make sure that we give them all the information from an NFL standpoint, from a medical standpoint, from a rehab standpoint — and if there is any way that he can possibly be devalued because of his injury, and what are the consequences of that and how does that affect his decision and what he does in the future.
“He’s been a great leader for us. He’s a great player on the team. He was elected captain of the team by his teammates. We just want what’s best for him. I think that’s my job with all the players is to make sure they get the right information from the right people about what their status is, so that they can make a business decision about what they do for their future. That’s what we’re going to continue to do and we’re going to continue with that for Tua.”
He has until Jan. 20 to declare for the NFL draft, but told ESPN last month that he saw benefits of both making the jump to the league and returning to college.
“You think of risk-reward on coming back. You think of risk-reward on leaving,” Tagovailoa said. “And when I look at it, I kind of look at it if I come back, the risk is, ‘What if I get hurt again?’ But the reward could be maybe I jump back to the top of the charts, the boards for all these teams.”
Tagovailoa recorded 2,840 yards and threw 33 touchdowns this season in nine games, and has one year of eligibility left with the Crimson Tide should he choose to use it. Once widely considered a top draft pick, many have speculated that his injury could cause him to fall deep into the first round of the draft, if not further. Yahoo Sports’ Eric Edholm, however, still had Tagovailoa as a top-5 pick in the draft despite the injury in his latest mock draft.
Regardless, the world will know of Tagovailoa’s decision on Monday — and he’s not taking it lightly by any means.
“Now is not the time to be making emotional decisions,” Tagovailoa said last month. “But now you gotta change into thinking as a businessman. You gotta make business decisions.”
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