Former Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa could be the latest quarterback the Miami football program pursues in the transfer portal. Tagovailoa would have a chance to reunite with his brother Tua to give South Florida a Hard Rock Stadium tandem at QB. Tagovailoa needs a waiver from the NCAA to play for Miami.
Tagovailoa is the seventh-ranked transfer QB by On3. The 247 Sports transfer portal rankings do not include Tagovailoa yet or Cam Ward. Tagovailoa ranks favorably with other transfer portal QBs. Three of the six transfer QBs ranked ahead of Tagovailoa were 2023 starters. The other three were backups or shared playing time.
Tagovailoa averaged 281.4 passing yards per game this season. That would rank third nationally among QBs who entered the transfer portal. Ward who declared for the NFL Draft, averaged 311.3 passing yards per game and led the country among QBs who entered the transfer portal at the end of the regular season.
Dillon Gabriel who transferred to Oregon was second among QBs in the portal averaging 305.0 passing yards per game for Oregon in 2023. Gabriel led all the QBs in the 2024 portal completing 69.3 percent of his passes in 2023. Jordan McCloud of James Madison was second among transfers completing 68.2 percent of his attempts.
Tagovailoa tied for seventh among transfer QBs, averaging 7.7 yards per attempt. Gabriel led all outgoing transfer QBs, averaging 9.5 yards per attempt. The other transfer QBs ranked ahead of Tagovailoa in YPA are Kyle McCord, McCloud, Jayden Maiava, DJ Uiagalelei, Tyler Van Dyke and Diego Pavia.
McCord transferred from Ohio to State to Syracuse, Uiagalelei from Oregon State to Florida State, Van Dyke to Wisconsin. McCloud, Maiava and Pavia are still in the portal. McCloud led transfer QBs in 2023 with 35 touchdown passes. Gabriel was second with 30 TD passes, Pavia was second with 26, Ward and Tagovailoa had 25.
Gabriel led outgoing transfer QBs with a 171.98 passer rating. McCloud was second at 165.94, McCord had a 161.64 passer rating for third, Pavia was fourth at 147.13, followed by Maiava at 147.09, VanDyke at 145.57, Ward at 145.43, Tagovailoa at 145.13 and Uiagalelei was one spot behind Tagovailoa at 145.05.
The 2023 numbers for Tagovailoa compare favorably with the other transfer QBs. If Tagovailoa plays in 2024, he will need a waiver from the NCAA. Tagovailoa played two snaps in two of his five appearances with Alabama in 2019. Players can appear in four games and maintain a year of eligibility.
In a since-deleted Tweet, Tagovailoa told Pete Thamel of EPSN that he appeared in the game to honor Tua who was out for the season with a hip injury. If Tagovailoa does not receive the waiver from the NCAA, he will enter the NFL Draft. There has been no information if Miami has contacted Tagavailoa about playing for them.