Tue, 29 Sep 2020

Maryland's Tagovailoa cleared to play, QB Jackson opts out

Field Level Media
08 Aug 2020, 10:05 GMT+10

Alabama transfer Taulia Tagovailoa was cleared to play for Maryland immediately on Friday just hours after quarterback Josh Jackson was one of six players to opt out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.

Hours after Terrapins coach Mike Locksley told reporters about the decisions of Jackson and five others, the NCAA announced that Tagovailoa could play for the school in 2020.

The sophomore quarterback is the younger brother of former Alabama star Tua Tagovailoa. He was added to the Maryland roster in May and Locksley said earlier in the day that it would be "icing on the cake for us" if Tagovailoa was cleared.

Tagovailoa was a highly regarded high school star in Hawaii before electing to follow his brother to Alabama. He completed 9 of 12 passes for 100 yards and one touchdown in five appearances last season.

Tagovailoa transferred from Alabama after last season. Locksley was offensive coordinator for the Crimson Tide before being hired as Maryland's coach following the 2018 season.

The NCAA also granted immediately eligibility to sophomore defensive lineman Joseph Boletepeli, a transfer from North Carolina State.

Also opting out of the season along with Jackson are sophomore offensive linemen Austin Fontaine, senior offensive lineman Johnny Jordan, sophomore defensive lineman Jalen Alexander, junior linebacker TJ Kautai and sophomore defensive back Vincent Flythe.

Junior tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo will be held out due to a medical issue, Locksley said.

Jackson started nine of 10 games played last season and passed for 1,274 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.

The senior, who transferred from Virginia Tech, isn't expected to play again for the Terrapins, according to Locksley.

"Proud of him being able to make tough decision like he's made and even prouder that he's a guy that does things the right way off the field and will continue to pursue his education and finish his degree here at Maryland," Locksley said.

--Field Level Media

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