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Look: Tua Tagovailoa Writes Letter to Alabama Fans After Declaring for NFL Draft

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2020

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - NOVEMBER 09: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks to pass during the second half against the LSU Tigers in the game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 09, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Tua Tagovailoa shared a letter to Alabama and its fans Monday after announcing he intends to enter the 2020 draft.

"I can't express how grateful I am to have attended the greatest school in college," Tagovailoa wrote. "I cherish the memories that I've made with my friends, family and loved ones along the way."

Tagovailoa closed by saying he'll continue to "stay close" with the Crimson Tide, especially as his younger brother Taulia, a freshman quarterback, continues his college career.

Tua. T 🇦🇸 @Tuaamann

Roll tide 4 Life 🖤 https://t.co/OFaW7303ZY

When the 2018 Heisman Trophy runner-up dislocated his hip in November, many wondered whether he'd return to Alabama for one more year to rebuild his draft stock and prepare for a jump to the NFL in 2021.

However, the hip injury may not result in a steep drop this spring. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranked Tagovailoa as the No. 2 quarterback and No. 7 player overall in his most recent big board.

Miller also wrote Monday the Miami Dolphins (No. 5 overall pick), Los Angeles Chargers (No. 6), Carolina Panthers (No. 7), Indianapolis Colts (No. 13), Las Vegas Raiders (Nos. 12 and 19), New England Patriots (No. 23) and New Orleans Saints (No. 24) all make sense as potential fits.

Tagovailoa achieved a lot in his three seasons with Alabama. He threw for 7,442 yards, 87 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, and he leaves as the FBS's all-time leader in passer rating (199.4). The Tide were national champions in 2017, runners-up in 2018 and might have qualified for the College Football Playoff again in 2019 were it not for his injury.

Tagovailoa has a strong case to be considered the greatest quarterback in Alabama history.

In addition to Taulia Tagovailoa and Mac Jones, the Crimson Tide signed Bryce Young, the best dual-threat quarterback in the 2020 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings. Whoever succeeds Tagovailoa as the full-time starter will have massive shoes to fill.

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