Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa told ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit he will make a "business decision" regarding whether he'll forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility to enter the 2020 NFL draft.
"You think of risk-reward on coming back. You think of risk-reward on leaving," he said (via ESPN's Alex Scarborough). "And when I look at it, I kind of look at it, if I come back, the risk is what if I get hurt again? But the reward could be maybe I jump back to the top of the charts, the boards for all these teams."
Tagovailoa completed 71.4 percent of his passes for 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns and three interceptions for the Crimson Tide this season. Unfortunately, Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending right hip dislocation on Nov. 16.
Tagovailoa is considered one of the top prospects in the class of 2020, but he's slipped a bit on some draft boards because of the injury.
Per Scarborough, ESPN's Todd McShay shifted the quarterback from second to 13th on his latest board.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report ranked Tagovailoa 10th on his latest ranking and spoke with a medical professional regarding the left-hander's prognosis:
"What is Tua Tagovailoa's post-hip surgery timeline? One NFL team doctor I spoke to this week, who asked not to be named, said it's impossible to know yet. The key, he said, is 'waiting to see if blood flow returns to the femoral head and to monitor the tissue to see how it responds. If it doesn't, that's Bo Jackson. If it does, then a full recovery can be expected.'"
Miller also noted it will be difficult to gauge a timeline for a few months, and he discussed what that means for Tagovailoa relative to the Jan. 20 deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft:
"If someone pretends to know when a timeline will emerge on whether Tua can play again, they're guessing. The best information says it will be two to three months before a real prognosis is known. The downside to that is the January 20 deadline for underclassmen to enter the NFL draft. There is a strong possibility Tua will have to make his draft decision without knowing when he'll be able to play again."
Tagovailoa's hip injury isn't the only ailment the Alabama signal-caller has suffered, as he underwent surgery for a high-ankle sprain in October. He missed one game before returning to the field against LSU.
Still, there's no denying he's an excellent prospect. He became an Alabama legend in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game by coming off the bench and leading the Crimson Tide to a comeback win over Georgia.
He tossed 43 touchdowns to just six interceptions in 2018 and led the Tide to the title game once again, although they fell to Clemson.
This year featured another great showing, keeping his draft stock high before the season-ending injury. If Tagovailoa receives a clean bill of health before draft time, it will be hard to see him dropping below the top five.