Evaluation: Tua Tagovailoa is one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2017 class, and it's easy to see why. He has some of the best arm talent in the class, with very good touch and arm strength. He's also a good athlete, with the ability to make plays in the running game. He's not quite the explosive athlete that the last great Hawaiian quarterback, Marcus Mariota, was, but he's certainly capable of making defenses pay for ignoring him in the run game, and he's certainly fast and shifty enough to be accurately labeled a dual threat. Another thing that stands out watching him play is his overall toughness -- he doesn't shy away from contact, and is very willing to stay in the pocket, take a hit, and deliver the ball. When he's running, he almost seeks out contact, and he has a sturdy, powerful body that allows him to take hits without sustaining injuries. Of course, you'd like him to avoid hits whenever possible at the college level and beyond, but no one will ever knock Tagovailoa's toughness. If there is a concern with him, it's his size. He's listed at 6'1, but he might be more like six-feet even, and he's already pretty filled out. Also, as with most high school quarterbacks, he'll need to continue to work on his footwork, pocket presence, and decision making, but the tools and athleticism are there for him to be a very good player at the Pac-12 level.
Recruitment: UCLA has been recruiting Tagovailoa since last year, and he attended UCLA's camp in June. Originally, he was planning on just watching the camp, but he was persuaded to work out after a while and seemed to enjoy himself. For the longest time, though, he was a perceived lean to USC, thanks in large part to growing up a fan of the Trojans and also his relationship with then USC quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo, who's actually related to the Tagovailoas. It was safe to say UCLA was on the outside looking in. Then, in January, UCLA hired Tuiasosopo away from USC, and the feeling is that there has been a subsequent shift in Tagovailoa's thinking, with UCLA possibly even rising to the top for him. As of now, Tagovailoa is pretty clearly UCLA's No. 1 target at quarterback, with a few other options, like Jack Sears, waiting in the wings. As with most quarterback recruitments, Tagovailoa's will probably be wrapped up by the summer. As of now, USC is still in the mix, and he has a host of other Pac-12 and national offers, but UCLA has put itself in a good spot by hiring Tuiasosopo.
Check out more highlights of Tagovailoa below.