Sports | March 10, 2020 11:16 am

Tua Tagovailoa Will End the NFL’s Left-Handed Quarterback Drought

Tagovailoa will be the NFL's first lefty QB since Kellen Moore retired after the 2017 season

Tua Tagovailoa Will End the NFL's Lefty QB Drought
Tua Tagovailoa warming up for the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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When he brushes his teeth, writes his name or eats his dinner, Tua Tagovailoa uses his right hand. When he throws a football, though, the 22-year-old quarterback uses his left hand.

That’s because when Tagovailoa — who led Alabama to a comeback in the National Championship Game in 2018 and is a slam dunk to be selected in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft — was a toddler, his father Galu made him throw with his left hand.

Thanks to that insistence, Galu’s son is poised to become the first left-handed NFL quarterback since Kellen Moore retired after the 2017 season.

“I think all the smart lefties went and played baseball,” Moore told Eric Edholm of FiveThirtyEight. “The sport is kind of designed for them. There’s a little more lefty influence in that sport.”

Since Moore’s retirement, 116 quarterbacks have thrown a pass in the NFL, and one thing they’ve all had in common is that they’re righties. That’s a statistical anomaly when you consider that lefties make up roughly 10 percent of the world’s population. But it’s a statistical anomaly that has stood the test of time in the NFL, as only 32 southpaws have ever played quarterback in the history of the league.

Of those 32 lefty QBs, only two have made it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Steve Young in 2005 and Ken Stabler in 2016). It’s possible Tagovailoa will be the third.

“I don’t think I would be here if I was a righty,” he told The Wall Street Journal. Why? “Well, because I only know I’m good with my left hand.”

Fun fact: When Tagovailoa does throw his first touchdown in the NFL, he’ll be the first player to throw a left-handed score since Dez Bryant, a wide receiver, did it in 2016.

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