Alabama in the Pros

Dolphins’ WR Lynn Bowden Jr. on Tua Tagovailoa: “When he lets it loose, we’ll win every game.”

Tua Tagovailoa walks on the sidelines
Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

The AFC East could be the most exciting division in the National Football League in the fall.

As he enters year two in the pros, Tua Tagovailoa has more than Miami’s coaching staff pulling for him. His teammates are prepared to see a quarterback with more confidence. Mike Gesicki, Dolphins’ tight end, is behind Tagovailoa and a talented wide receiver spoke on his signal-caller to Tyler Dunne of Go Long. Lynn Bowden Jr., like Tagovailoa, played in the Southeastern Conference. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Bowden attended Liberty High School and Warren G. Hardin High School.

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He starred in football and basketball and got a chance to play at the University of Kentucky.

His explosiveness allowed him to become a ‘utility player.’ The Wildcats played Bowden at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, punt returner, and kickoff returner. He was must-see television for Kentucky, especially in the 2019 season. Bowden recorded 403 passing yards, 1,468 rushing yards, 348 receiving yards, 220 kickoff return yards, and 53 punt return yards.

His total of 2,492 all-purpose yards with 17 touchdowns carried the Wildcats to an 8-5 record. He was selected by the Las Vegas Raiders in the third round (No. 80 overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft, but he was traded to the Dolphins on September 5. Bowden enters his second season with Tagovailoa, and he feels like the NFL is about to see a different player. He told Dunne he expects Tagovailoa to ‘blow up and pull the trigger.’

“When he lets it loose and he’s being himself, we’ll win every game,” Bowden said. “When he’s feeling himself and he’s moving and doing his thing, Tua is one of the best quarterbacks, literally, around. And people don’t know that yet.”

Tagovailoa pulled the trigger last season in a close loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

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Despite a 5-point defeat (27-33), he tallied 316 passing yards with three scores. Gesicki caught both of Tagovailoa’s scoring passes, while Bowden had a team-high seven receptions for 82 yards. The native Hawaiian is capable of these performances every week.

If he explodes this year, Miami has an opportunity to go to the playoffs and make a deep run. He was special at Alabama, and he’s worked hard all offseason. Tagovailoa and his team are ready to roll.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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