Galu Tagovailoa has been busy.
The husband and father of four — including two daughters and two quarterbacking sons — just sold his house in Kapolei last week and is moving the family to Alabaster, Ala., as first reported by Hawaii Prep World six weeks ago.
They fly out April 3 to the state where his eldest son, Tua, is already living — on the campus of the University of Alabama.
Tua, the oldest son, is a 5-star recruit and a former Saint Louis star who is now a quarterback for the Crimson Tide. He’s been participating in spring drills, and is working alongside two other QBs, incumbent starter Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones, both sophomores.
Galu’s younger son Taulia Tagovailoa, who played two years at quarterback for Kapolei, has enrolled at Thompson High in Alabaster. He will do spring drills there to get ready for the fall season.
Galu, the dad, said the plan is for Taulia to play his last two high school seasons there.
“His head coach is going to be Mark Freeman, who is the man behind Jameis Winston (the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner from Florida State and now the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers),” Galu Tagovailoa said. “We’ve heard a lot about him. They run the spread.”
Years ago, Winston’s dad hired Freeman to be a private mentor to his son. Freeman’s Thompson team went 5-5 a year ago.
There has been some speculation that Taulia would transfer back to Oahu as early as this fall and play at Saint Louis, where former mentor June Jones is employed but not yet part of the Crusaders’ staff under head man Cal Lee.
Galu Tagovailoa put those rumors to rest.
“It’s expensive moving to Alabama and it’s going to be expensive when we move back,” he said. “We will either move back after Taulia’s two years or we will wait until my two daughters (a seventh grader and a freshman) graduate.”
And, even if the Tagovailoas changed their minds and wanted Taulia to play at Saint Louis as early as this fall (as has been suggested in the rumor mill), he would likely have to sit out a year. A few years ago, linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia had a similar experience. He played for Kaiser as a freshman and transferred to Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas for the spring semester before enrolling at Saint Louis at the start of his sophomore year, and he was ruled ineligible for one year.
However, if the Tagovailoas changed their minds and wanted to Taulia to transfer back for his senior year, he would be eligible.
Taulia led Kapolei to its best season in school history last year as a sophomore. His 3,919 passing yards fell 66 short of the single-season record held by Saint Louis alum Timmy Chang, and he tossed 42 touchdowns and nine picks. Despite only playing two years, Taulia is seventh on Hawaii’s all-time passing list with 6,703 yards and 64 touchdowns with 21 interceptions.
Galu gave an update on Tua’s progress.
“Tua is doing awesome and working hard, having a good spring,” he said. “But at the same time, for a lot of young kids, it’s a rude awakening. This is the real world and he’s with the top kids in the country.
“But he loves the competition and he plans to compete the entire season. He’s learning under the new OC (Brian Daboll, who took the job when newly hired Steve Sarkisian left to become the Atlanta Falcons’ OC). He is learning with Jalen and Mac. They’ve become really close friends on and off the field and are very supportive of each other.
“Tua told me, ‘Everybody thinks we’re just competing, but that’s not really what it’s all about.’ There is a big brotherhood there and they’re working with each other, going against the defense. That’s coach Nick Saban’s approach and it’s about being tight and having fun. It’s not about which player is doing good. It’s the team, not one person. I love how he does things.”
Galu said all of his children will be sad about missing their friends and family in Hawaii.
“And they’ll miss the state of Hawaii, which has been so awesome in supporting the boys,” he added.
According to Galu, Tua is loving his classes so far and it’s a totally new environment for him to be around.
“He said there are so many resources there that you have to not want to go to school to fail,” the dad said.