"I was just trying to go out there and do my best," Tagovailoa said. "One of the things I heard Coach Taylor Mazzone tell me was just to go out there and compete, and try my best, and whatever people's opinions would be, that would be the outcome."
He almost didn't get a chance to show off his ability. Tagovailoa spent the first couple of hours of UCLA's camp on Thursday standing on the sidelines watching, but after a little while, he threw on a jersey and then put on an impressive showing in front of the UCLA coaching staff.
"When we were going towards the quarterbacks and looking at the quarterbacks and looking at the combine, we didn't know if I should just jump in or what," Tagovailoa said. "And then eventually the coaches kind of swayed my dad into doing it, and I went out there."
The early four-star quarterback certainly didn't regret the experience.
"It's always good to go out there and compete against others kids as well, especially coming from the island where you don't really get to see this," Tagovailoa said. "So this is making the best use of our time over here."
Tagovailoa has long been rumored to be a USC lean, and was actually at the Rising Stars camp on Wednesday, and he didn't shy away from saying the Trojans are in a good spot for him.
"As far as now, USC is up there, but options are still open," Tagovailoa said. "Only God can tell where I'm going to go as far as school. That's something kind of (a long way away right now)."
Still, after talking with Coach Jim Mora at UCLA's camp on Thursday, he didn't discount UCLA's place in his recruitment.
"UCLA's up there, right by USC," Tagovailoa said. "Coach Mora told me to just keep in touch, and he really wants us to make UCLA our home. He just wants us to keep in contact."
Tagovailoa has a host of UCLA coaches in contact with him, but he said his main recruiter isn't a coach at all.
"My main recruiter has actually been (former teammate) Fred Ulu-Perry," Tagovailoa said. "He's the main recruiter wanting me to come out here to UCLA, and check out the environment here."