Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is considered one of the top prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft, but while his excellence on the field has been proven during his time with the Crimson Tide, his health remains one of the biggest questions regarding his ranking in this year's class.
Tagovailoa spent some time with CBS Sports HQ at the Super Bowl LIV Radio Row on Thursday to discuss his season-ending hip injury, the recovery and rehabilitation process and what he expects from the transition from college to the pros.
Getting some of the newsy bits out of the way early, Tagovailoa was able to confirm that he would like to have a pro day prior to the 2020 NFL Draft. He would like to have one and even suggested that he'd pick Jerry Jeudy to be among the former Alabama teammates he'd like to throw to, but warned that there would be no pro day without clearance from the doctors in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa overseeing his rehabilitation process.
According to Tagovailoa, the month of February includes several key dates -- approximately three months after the Nov. 16 injury -- for a CT scan and a follow-up MRI after that scan to determine how the fracture in his hip has healed. He maintained that he's "on track to make a full recovery" at this time but pointed out that he needs good news from those scans for doctors to clear him for work outs that would gradually lead to a pro day.
The recovery process has been tough on Tagovailoa, who told CBS Sports HQ that when he suffered the hip injury he had no idea it was going to be a season-ending setback.
"I don't think I can say I did because at the time my body was in shock. When I had time to process it and really think about it, I was heartbroken," Tagovailoa said. "I was heartbroken I wasn't able to finish the season with my teammates. It's probably the last thing you ever think of, you wake up and think everything is going to be fine. People take walking for granted. Little things like walking, being able to shower the same way, being able to use the bathroom. I'm grateful to have the parents that I have to help me throughout my recovery process."
Tagovailoa also discussed his adjustment to Tuscaloosa -- where he discovered that nearly all food, including pickles, can be fried -- and noted that nothing is guaranteed for any of the quarterbacks looking to succeed him as the Tide's new starter in 2020. Mac Jones, Tua's little brother Taulia Tagovailoa and early enrollee Bryce Young are all in the mix, and the national championship winning-quarterback spoke from experience when he declared that the competition for that, and every position on Alabama's roster, is going to be fierce.