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Tua Tagovailoa and DeVonta Smith shook the Alabama football nation five years ago

Tua Tagovailoa and Devonta Smith stand beside each other during 2019 CFP title game vs. Clemson
Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports

Two of the most impressive players in the Nick Saban era at Alabama gave Crimson Tide a special holiday as true freshmen.

Tua Tagovailoa and DeVonta Smith came in Alabama’s top-ranked 2017 signing class. Tagovailoa, a native Hawaiian, arrived as a five-star quarterback. Smith, a Louisiana native, came in as a four-star wide receiver. Both played as freshmen, but Saban went to them more in the second half of the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game versus Georgia. After taking a sack on first down in overtime, Tagovailoa tossed a 41-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Smith that shook the Alabama football nation. He looked off the safety and fired a beautiful pass to Smith who hauled it in, and Tide fans went crazy.

The play happened on 2nd down with 26 yards to go. Alabama fans celebrate “2nd and 26” every year on the 26th day of February. Tagovailoa and Smith handed Saban his fifth national championship at Alabama and sixth overall.

RELATED: Rick Ross poses with Tua Tagovailoa at his 25th birthday party

It has been five years since the play, but Tagovailoa and Smith hold a special play in Tide folklore for it.

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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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