CFB Notebook: Bama QB Tagovailoa was planning to transfer

The Sports Xchange

May 18, 2018 at 7:59 pm.

Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was planning to transfer before he came off the bench to lead a dramatic rally and power Alabama to victory over Georgia in the national championship game in January.

Had Tagovailoa never entered the game, he was planning to leave the Crimson Tide, according to a report by HawaiiNewsNow.com

Speaking to a group of middle-school students in his native state of Hawaii, Tagovailoa said he was planning to leave Alabama after his freshman season if he didn’t play in the championship game against SEC rival Georgia.

“I called my dad and asked him if my offer to the University of Southern California was still available,” Tagovailoa said, per HawaiiNewsNow. “I wanted to leave. I told my dad I wanted to go to a school where I thought it’d be easier for me and wouldn’t challenge me so much.”

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban replaced ineffective starter Jalen Hurts in the second half, and the move paid off when Tagovailoa sparked a stirring come-from-behind victory.

Tagovailoa helped Alabama erase a 13-point second-half deficit in the 26-23 win over Georgia. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 166 yards with three touchdowns against Georgia, including a game-winning 41-yarder.

“Even throughout my football season, I wasn’t the starter,” Tagovailoa told the students. “I wanted to leave the school. So I told myself if I didn’t play in the last game, which was the national championship game, I would transfer out.

“If I gave in, I don’t think I would have seen the end blessing of where I am now.”

Injuries throughout the spring have hindered Tagovailoa’s bid to supplant Hurts as the starter entering the 2018, but last season’s experience has him more determined to stay the course.

“My mentality doesn’t (change),” said Tagovailoa. “I just got to keep working.”

–Former East Carolina quarterback Gardner Minshew officially transferred to Washington State.

Minshew, a graduate transfer who committed to play at Alabama at the end of February before reversing that decision, withdrew from East Carolina at the end of January to attend to a personal matter in his home state of Mississippi.

Washington State coach Mike Leach announced the transfer of Minshew on the school’s official website.

Minshew, who was scheduled to be East Carolina’s starting quarterback in 2018, started five games for the Pirates last season, throwing for 2,140 yards with 16 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Minshew is expected to vie for the starting job with the Cougars. His main competition is Trey Tinsley and Anthony Gordon, neither of whom has thrown a pass since transferring from junior college.

–Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm managed to hook a big one on a recent fishing trip, and it landed him in the hospital.

The unexpected visit to the hospital occurred after Fromm managed to hook himself in the leg while fishing last week.

Fromm, who led the Bulldogs to the national championship game last season, poked fun at himself for the snafu, posting a picture of the lure stuck in his leg on his Instagram account.

“Works so good it hooks humans too,” Fromm wrote in a caption on the photo that showed the treble hook embedded in the side of his lower leg.

Fromm, accompanied by fellow Georgia student Jordan Rowe, made a trip to Cook Medical Center in Adel, Ga., to have the hook removed, per the Columbus Ledger-Inquirer.

The Bulldogs finished 13-2 following a 26-23 loss to Alabama in the national title game. Fromm made 14 starts, passing for 2,615 yards and 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his freshman season.

–Quarterback Blake Barnett, who started his career at Alabama and recently graduated from Arizona State, has enrolled at South Florida, the school announced.

As a graduate transfer, Barnett will be eligible to play for the Bulls next season and has two years of eligibility remaining.

The 22-year-old Barnett will compete with Brett Kean and Chris Oladokun for South Florida’s starting quarterback job as the Bulls replace Quinton Flowers, their starter for the last 38 games.

Barnett was a five-star prospect coming out of Santiago High in Corona, Calif., in 2015 and initially committed to Notre Dame before signing with Alabama.

After redshirting during the 2015 season, Barnett opened the 2016 season as Alabama’s starter against USC. However, Jalen Hurts replaced Barnett as the starter later that season and Barnett transferred to Arizona State.

Barnett was the backup to starter Manny Wilkins for the Sun Devils last season and threw only five passes.