Former Dolphin Says Tua Tagovailoa Will Become Miami’s Biggest Star Since Dan Marino

Tua Tagovailoa

The Miami Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa with hopes that he’d become a star, with Dolphins color commentator and radio host Joe Rose indicating that Tagovailoa’s appeal will match that of former running back Ricky Williams and Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.

Tagovailoa was the fifth overall selection in last month’s NFL draft, with some teams having doubts about his ability to remain healthy in the NFL. That concern was based on a number of injuries over Tagovailoa’s collegiate career, including a hip injury that required major surgery last November.

However, with Tagovailoa now signed and working hard to fulfill the Dolphins’ vision, Rose only sees big things ahead for the University of Alabama product.

“Tua is far by himself — never seen anything like this buzz from a draft pick here. There’s no close second,” said Rose, who played for the franchise alongside Marino from 1983 to 1985. “We have a rock star here in Tua. This team has been in mediocrity for so long. It’s lacked the Dan Marino star power, the Ricky Williams star power. Tua’s the next guy in that group.”

Marino was selected by the Dolphins in 1983, having taken a steep tumble in that draft after a mediocre season.

However, Marino got the last laugh by becoming a starter in his first season and then leading the Dolphins to a Super Bowl appearance the following year. From there, he established himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever and was eventually inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Williams, a former Heisman Trophy winner, came to the Dolphins in a 2002 trade after three seasons as a member of the New Orleans Saints.

The fanfare that welcomed Williams to Miami was worthy during his first season, when he led the NFL in rushing with 1,853 yards. He then followed that with 1,372 yards rushing in 2003.

However, from that point, Williams struggled to stay within the rules of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Williams abruptly retired prior to the start of the 2004 training camp, in part to avoid a four-game suspension. However, he returned the following year and played in 12 games.

In 2006, Williams was suspended for the entire season after a substance abuse violation before coming back to play four more seasons with the Dolphins. His best season during that span was his 2009 effort of 1,121 rushing yards.

In contrast to Williams, Tagovailoa has not had any off-the-field issues up to this point, with questions about his health being the most prominent concern.

Since Marino retired following the 1999 season, the Dolphins have struggled to replace his talent behind center. Still an avid supporter of the team, Marino would no doubt be more than happy to see Tagovailoa surpass his on-field exploits in the years ahead, something that would truly make the newcomer a star.