Former Kapolei offensive coordinator June Jones said Thursday that record-setting Hurricanes quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa will move to Alabama soon and not return for his junior season.
Jones spoke to Christian Shimabuku of Hawaii Prep World and the Star-Advertiser on Thursday during a journalism class discussion at the University of Hawaii campus. Tagovailoa, a second-team all-state selection, has a scholarship offer from Alabama. His older brother, first-team QB and Star-Advertiser offensive player of the year Tua Tagovailoa, is presently enrolled at the Tuscaloosa campus after graduating early from Saint Louis.
“I think he’s going to Alabama with his whole family to watch Tua. That’s what I’ve been told,” Jones said. “He’ll do great. It’ll be a great experience for him. A totally different culture, obviously. He’s going to Birmingham. I haven’t talked to Galu and Diane, but they’re going up this year for sure.”
Galu Tagovailoa, Taulia’s father, could not be reached for comment.
Jones mentioned Thompson High School, which is located in Alabaster, Ala., roughly an hour away from Tuscaloosa, as the school Taulia would transfer to.
Kapolei coach Darren Hernandez responded via text to the Star-Advertiser’s Dave Reardon, saying, “I understand the families choice to move to be together with Tua. Taulia is a great kid and he comes from a super family. He has a very bright future ahead of him. I love that kid, he is going to do some amazing things.”
Taulia Tagovailoa led the Hurricanes to their best season in school history in 2016. Kapolei went 10-3 and advanced the Open Division state semifinals, notching its first win ever in the state tournament.
Tagovailoa threw for 3,919 yards and 42 touchdowns falling 66 yards short of the single-season passing record held by Saint Louis’ Timmy Chang. Tagovailoa is already seventh on the state’s all-time career passing list with 6,703 yards and 64 touchdowns and was on pace to obliterate the all-time record, held by his brother.
After the season ended, Jones left Kapolei to take a job at Saint Louis. Soon after, former Campbell coach Amosa Amosa was hired to replace Jones as offensive coordinator under Hernandez.
Tua Tagovailoa, who led the Crusaders to the Open Division state title in ’16, enrolled early at Alabama and began attending classes in January.