Family, finances at forefront as Tua Tagovailoa ponders NFL draft

Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is recovering from hip surgery, said that whether he'll enter the upcoming NFL draft will be a "business decision" that he plans to make with the help of his family.

The junior has not made use of a redshirt season and has a year of eligibility remaining, should he decide to return to school.

"You think of risk-reward on coming back. You think of risk-reward on leaving," he said during an interview with ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit. "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 said he hasn't spoken with his family about the decision, and it will come down to whatever he thinks is the right thing to do.

As for when he'll come to a decision, he said, "whether it's tomorrow or on the 20th of January, that'll be it." Jan. 20 is the deadline to enter the draft.

ESPN's Todd McShay dropped Tagovailoa from No. 2 to No. 13 in his latest rankings.

"I'd say the reward in all of that is, yeah, I'll be getting paid millions," Tagovailoa said of entering the draft. "But a lot of the money that I could've made, you can't make that money up now. So that'd be me leaving money on the table."

"But then, at the same time, I still gotta talk with my family about all this, see what their input is. Now is not the time to be making emotional decisions. But now you gotta change into thinking as a businessman. You gotta make business decisions."

Tagovailoa separated his hip and fractured his posterior wall when he was tackled during a game against Mississippi State last month. He also broke his nose and suffered a concussion.

He was initially flown to a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, for treatment, and he underwent hip surgery in Houston days later. Alabama team orthopedic surgeon Lyle Cain said in a news release Nov. 18 that the surgery was successful and Tagovailoa is expected to make a full recovery.

Cain told ESPN's Laura Rutledge that Tagovailoa should be able to begin athletic activity within three months of the procedure and should be ready to begin throwing again by the spring.

"If I leave, the risk is do I still go in the first round, or do I even make [it] to the second round?" Tagovailoa said. "These guys don't even know if I can play with the hip injury yet, too."

Tagovailoa, who burst onto the scene by coming off the bench at halftime and leading Alabama to a national championship as a true freshman two seasons ago, amassed 2,840 passing yards this season, completing 71.4% of his passes for 33 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Last season, he threw 43 touchdowns with six interceptions and finished as the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting to former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray.

With Mac Jones as its starter, Alabama beat Western Carolina but lost to Auburn 48-45 on Saturday in the Iron Bowl, effectively knocking the Crimson Tide out of the College Football Playoff race.