Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa to Graduate from Alabama on Saturday

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2020

FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2020, file photo, Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa watches a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. Tagovailoa is a likely first round pick in the NFL Draft Thursday, April 23, 2020.  (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will graduate from the University of Alabama with a bachelor's degree in communication studies during a virtual commencement ceremony Saturday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter provided the update.

Tagovailoa took part in virtual summer classes amid the coronavirus pandemic to complete his degree requirements in three years, per Safid Deen of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The 22-year-old Hawaii native was selected by the Dolphins with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft in April.

His career with the Crimson Tide ended prematurely in November when he suffered a right hip dislocation and posterior wall fracture during a game against Mississippi State.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores announced Wednesday that Tagovailoa passed his physical and is cleared to practice once the team begins on-field activities during training camp. He also tempered short-term expectations as Miami hopes it found a new franchise quarterback.

"I know there's a lot of people wanting to talk about Tua," he said. "I understand it. But at the same time, he's a young player. This is his first NFL training camp. He's got to take it one day at a time and not think about what's realistic for the season. I think we have to take a one-day-at-a-time approach, which has been my message to him, and it's not just him. It's every player on this team."

Tagovailoa will compete with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen for the starting job, but his quest may be complicated by the lack of preseason games, which will make it tougher to gauge his progress.

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The 2018 SEC Offensive Player of the Year is coming off a highly productive career at Bama. He completed 69.3 percent of his throws for 7,442 yards with 87 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions in 32 appearances. He added 340 rushing yards and nine scores on the ground.

While his playmaking ability is obvious, he struggled with injuries in college. Along with the dislocated hip, he suffered high-ankle sprains in each of his final two collegiate seasons.

The Dolphins are scheduled to open the regular season Sept. 13 with a road game against the New England Patriots. Even if Tagovailoa doesn't start the opener, it'd be a surprise if he's not running the offense by year's end.

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