Not many remember the days when 11 football players per side played both ways and on special teams, but it used to happen without fanfare.
Now, a quarterback gets in on special teams and it’s a story.
When Saint Louis scored a touchdown to cut its deficit to 26-13 against Punahou on Thursday night at Aloha Stadium, the Crusaders’ extra-point team ran on the field. However, only 10 men went out. A blocker on the line was missing.
According to one source, the call went out to the missing player several times, but he didn’t answer. So, star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the senior who has committed to play for Alabama, marched on to the field and took the position on the line. The extra point was good.
From the sideline, it looked odd. Was it really No. 13? Or was it a different number? Or was it another player also wearing No. 13, which can happen in high school football. Sure enough, after the play, Tagovailoa jogged back off the field.
Most people would say it’s not a good idea for the quarterback to play on special teams. But from this vantage point, it was an awesome sight. A show of leadership. Hey, he can block too. Very cool.
And it hearkens back to the days when quarterbacks were safeties and running backs were linebackers … and you get the picture. Nothing wrong with having a little football fun. Not sure Alabama head coach Nick Saban feels the same, but Saban is not Tagovailoa’s coach yet.
Asked Friday morning if he thinks Tagovailoa will play more on special teams, Saint Louis head coach Cal Lee said, “No. There are no more plans (for him on) special teams.”