Two brothers with different personalities, but similar in many ways.
Taulia Tagovailoa, the Maryland quarterback star, is a reserved, kind of player who prefers not to talk about his exploits on the field. The Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is more open, having blossomed into a college star and first-round NFL pick after winning a national championship in Alabama.
Both rarely use social media, especially during the football season. (Taulia said he doesn’t know Southern California and UCLA Join the Big Ten Conference in 2024 until a month after the announcement.) They are both close to their family, who rely on them for guidance and support while playing the most scrutinized position in American sports.
This weekend, in a family get-together like no other, they’ll be sharing the spotlight some 31 miles away.
Taulia will lead the Terps against SMU on Saturday night at Maryland Stadium in College Park, while his older brother Tua and Dolphins will face the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon.
“I think my whole family will be here too,” said Taulia, the novice in a red shirt. “It would be exciting.”
The brothers were briefly teammates in Alabama, with Tua becoming one of the most famous and successful players in the country. After throwing a match-winning touchdown pass in overtime to beat Georgia in the 2017 National Championship game as a true freshman, he finished second in the Heisman Trophy vote in 2018 under the guidance of then-Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Mike Locksley. After Locksley became head coach in Maryland in 2019, Tua led Alabama to a record 8-1 before suffering a dislocated hip and being declared an NFL draft.
Less than a month after Tua was chosen for fifth overall by the Dolphins, Taulia announced that he was Moving on to join Locksley and Terps. Two years later, the brothers will play in the same state, something they haven’t done since their childhood days in Iowa Beach, Hawaii.
Their mother, Diane, said the Samoan family – which includes her husband Gallo, a former youth football coach, and their daughters Taylor and Taisia - was thrilled to see the two brothers compete so close. She said at least 25 family members from Alabama, Hawaii, Utah and Virginia will be in the stands on Saturday and Sunday.
“We are living a dream,” she said. “We’ll watch one son play in a Division I college on Saturday, and then watch another son play in the NFL on Sunday.”
Taulia said he plans to attend the Ravens’ house opening party. On the other hand, Toa told reporters in Miami on Wednesday that he was not sure if he would be in College Park on Saturday night due to the dolphins schedule.
“This is our first game on the road against a really good team, and we have a chance to go out there and do something special,” said Toa.
Since Tua and Taulia are under the microscope, everything they do right or wrong has been analyzed.
Despite his track record, many have questioned whether Tua has the arm strength and toughness to be the quarterback for a Miami team that includes talented receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Much like Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and his ongoing contract negotiations, Tua has been a routine talking point for critics, with Kurt Warner, Keyshawn Johnson and Sean Payton among those weighing in this week alone.
“I think it has to do with the area,” said Daryl Bevel, Dolphins’ passing coach and coordinator. “I think it’s part of playing quarterback. You’ll always be looked at. I think the year Tua came in, everyone says ‘Oh, that’s the year that counts.’ But I couldn’t be more happy and excited about what Tua was doing. The process of growing up. that he has, the information he absorbs, learning a new crime again. He’s doing a really good job at it.”
When it comes to Taulia, Locksley has said multiple times that he is one of the most underrated players in college football. Last season, Taulia set one-season program records in passing yards (3860), completions (454) and completion rate (69.2%) while leading Maryland to its first championship win since 2010. After Taulia totaled 391 yards and represented five touchdowns. In a 56-21 win over Charlotte last week, he climbed to third in Maryland history in his career with 37 points.
When you see the best midfielders [ranked] With the season going in, you rarely see Taulia Tagovailoa, Locksley said. “He has [brought] Huge value to our program.”
For Taulia and Tua, their family keeps them grounded. Growing up in Hawaii, they learned to separate football and family, because Diane never wanted to bring home what they did on the football field.
“If the coaches get your 100% attention, your mom, dad, sisters and [grandparents] You should get 100% when you’re home.”
Taulia and Tua have maintained a strong relationship with their family and each other despite their busy schedules. Whether it was a text message or a phone call, these conversations kept them humble and helped them understand that there is more to life than football.
“This keeps [Tua] Tolia said. “This is something I try to do as well – just give my family all my attention.”
Locksley said both players handled the spotlight well, although Taulia would prefer to stay away from it. Taulia admires how Tua carries himself, as he constantly smiles and remains optimistic. On the other hand, Taulia is his worst critic and can sometimes let mistakes affect his performance.
“Tua is able to hide that a little better than Taulia,” Diane said. “You know exactly how Taulia feels.”
In last week’s win over Charlotte, Taulia may have taken a page out of his brother’s book. After being intercepted in the second quarter, Tagoviloa kept smiling as if staff turnover hadn’t bothered him.
“He’s kept a smile on his face, and yes, we’ve come up with some points, but he’s usually pretty hard on himself,” Locksley said.
For Diane, this weekend will be a testament to the journey Tua and Taulia have taken since they were little.
“We can watch both boys do something they love so passionately,” she said. “We are really blessed.”
Saturday, 7:30 pm
Television: Fox Sports 1
radio: 105.7 FM
Line: Maryland 4
Dolphin @ Ravens
Sunday, 1 pm
Television: the classroom. 13, 9
radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM
Line: crows by 3 1