The Heisman experience for Saint Louis graduate and Alabama sophomore quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is officially over.
Within an hour of when Kyler Murray was announced as the 84th Heisman Trophy winner, Tagovailoa was en route to Tuscaloosa, Ala. as he continues rehab on an injured left ankle.
Tagovailoa received the most first-place votes for a second-place finisher in the 84 years of the award. He was the first Maxwell and Walter Camp award winner to not win the Heisman since Laie’s Manti Te’o in 2012.
Tagovailoa will quickly have a chance to respond when the Crimson Tide faces Murray and the Sooners on Dec. 29 in the Orange Bowl in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Despite having spent two days side by side with his now forever linked athletic rival, Tagovailoa said Saturday night that not one mention was made of the inevitable showdown in the Sunshine State.
“We still haven’t talked about any of that,” said Tagovailoa. “Really we’ve just been trying to enjoy everything that’s been going on around us. We’re just kids that have big dreams. To be part of something like this is special. I’m a competitor. He’s a competitor. May the best team win. That’s all I can say.”
Tagovailoa did not use a walking boot on that ankle for the entire Heisman ceremony. He says he fully expects to be fully healed in time for the Orange Bowl.