Washington

Terps star QB Tagovailoa was once a center, for brother Tua

Washington

It's hard to remember after they were forced to miss two straight games as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak within the program, but the Maryland Terrapins were one of the early surprises of the Big Ten football season.

The biggest difference-maker for the Terps in 2020 has been the breakout performance of sophomore quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Miami Dolphins rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa and an incoming Alabama transfer. 

Ahead of Saturday afternoon's matchup with the 12th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers, the younger Tagovailoa brother sat down (virtually) with College Gameday.

ESPN's Maria Taylor asked Taulia about his relationship with Tua both on and off the field, and both answers were illuminating.

Off the field, Taulia describes a relationship that balances both competition and education. The Tagovailoa family have made it no secret how close they are, and Taulia has taken a lot from his brotherhood with Tua.

"There’s a fine line between competing and learning for me, just because I’m the youngest and Tua’s been there, done that," Taulia said on ESPN. "So every time I try my best to compete with him. At the same time, he’s always been that older brother, teaching me how to think and take the right mindset."

On the field, their relationship might not be what you expect. Taulia hasn't always played quarterback in Tua's shadow -- in fact, it all started with Taulia a few feet in front of his brother instead.

 

"I actually grew up being Tua’s center," Taulia said. "I wish I could be his receiver."

When asked to clarify that he was the one snapping the ball to his brother, Taulia couldn't help but laugh and confirm.

Not many four-star college quarterbacks can say they started their football careers at center, and fewer can say they snapped the ball to their future top-five overall pick older brothers. But then again, not many quarterbacks are the Tagovailoa brothers.