Road ‘Tua’ Heisman: Tua Tagovailoa’s hometown shoutout

Local Sports

A quarterback will win the Heisman Trophy Saturday, but which one?

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is one of three finalists, and he’s got tough competition.

The Saint Louis graduate, along with fellow finalists Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange Friday evening.

The locale is fitting, considering the Ewa Beach native has seen his Heisman stock ride its own highs and the lows, going from Heisman lock to Vegas underdog in a matter of days.  

On Thursday night, Tagovailoa was awarded the Walter Camp and Maxwell awards, honors that have gone to the last four Heisman trophy winners. 

Meanwhile, Murray took home the AP Player of the Year Award, a prize that has gone to 13 of the last 15 winners. 

No matter who wins the 84th Heisman Trophy, mutual respect appears to be unquestioned among college football’s elite. 

“It’s been a blessing for me and my family to experience it first-hand. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here with two amazing quarterbacks as well. It’s just been a blessing so far,” Tagovailoa said. “When you’re young, you have dreams and aspirations, and this was definitely one of my dreams, to be able to come to New York and to be mentioned within the Heisman talk is amazing. To be a finalist with these other guys is amazing as well.”

Also evident during a media session earlier Friday: Tagovailoa’s love and admiration for his home state.

“I mean, it’s awesome. It’s amazing. Back home, everything is family-oriented. We have one of Hawaii’s finest here, Rob DeMello. I personally know Rob, the man in the back. Oh, there’s a lot of Hawaii people here, geez. So I mean, with them flying out here, you can see the support already within our newscasts back home. I’m very appreciative,” Tagovailoa said. 

“I didn’t really take it upon myself that I was the next guy right away. I did understand that it had to take a lot of hard work to get to where Marcus was at. But now that I’m here, I definitely do believe that it’s just a legacy thing. If we do win it, that’d be awesome and I get the opportunity to carry that torch. But if not, we’ve just got to keep playing football,” he continued.

On Saturday, one player’s life will change forever during the 84th Heisman Trophy ceremony. You can watch the broadcast live on ESPN at 3 p.m. HST.

Stay with KHON2 on-air and online for coverage before and after the presentation as Tagovailoa looks to become the second Hawaii native to win the crown since Marcus Mariota four years ago.

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