Tua Tagovailoa's season - and possibly his time at Alabama - are over, after a hip injury he sustained Saturday. The Crimson Tide must now turn their offense over to sophomore quarterback Mac Jones, who has started and won one game already this season. Still, Alabama fans may be wondering just who this guy is.
He Committed To Alabama Even After Tua Did the Same
After his performance at the 2017 Elite 11 high school quarterback competition, Jones received scholarship offers from 24 schools. One of those was Alabama, who had already snapped up the winner of that competition, who just happened to be the man just above him on the depth chart: Tua Tagovailoa. Nevertheless, Jones took up Alabama's offer, even spurning a prior commitment to Kentucky.
He Was Named to the U.S. National Under-19 American Football Team
Hey, did you know that the United States had a national team in football? Well, you do now, and Mac Jones was named to the Under-19 squad for the 2017 North American Championship, where Team USA beat Team Canada 33-11. Jones ran for two touchdowns in the game.
He Coaches A Sorority Flag Football Team In His Off-Time
The University of Alabama has an intramural football league consisting of teams of sororities coached by current Crimson Tide players. One of those teams is Zeta Tau Alpha, coached by Jones. At one point last season, the team was 3-0, so take that for what it's worth.
His Nickname is "Joker"
Jones earned the nickname from former lineman Richie Petitbon (who has since transferred to Illinois), who noticed the quarterback "...doing his classic weird movements, moving his head and smiling, dancing around and giggling and laughing.” Maybe if Jones plays well enough in the following two games, he could fully embrace the Joker nickname and use it to sell custom T-shirts of himself. It's a brand new era after all.
His' First Start Was Better Than Tagovailoa's
This may sound hard to believe, considering how well Tua Tagovailoa can play when he's healthy, but it's true. As ESPN's Greg MacElroy pointed out after Jones led Alabama to a 48-7 win over Arkansas earlier this season, the sophomore QB - who made his first career start for the Tide that day - came out with a better statline than Tagovailoa had for his first start. Jones finished with a stellar 18-of-22 for 235 yards and three touchdowns against the Razorbacks, better than Tua's still-quite-good 12-of-16 for 227 yards and two touchdowns against Louisville last year.