Tua Tagovailoa Ranked No. 1 Face of Miami Sports Above Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem

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Despite not having played a single game for the Miami Dolphins, rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has nabbed the top spot in the Miami Herald‘s 2020 Face of Miami Sports top 20.

Greg Cote of the Miami Herald looked at specific components for each athlete, focusing on career accomplishments, potential, star power, popularity, local impact and national stature.

Mixing those together resulted in Tagovailoa being named the new face of Miami sports.

“Crazy, right?” Cote wrote. “Only been a Fin since the April draft. Has not thrown a pass here yet or stepped on a practice field. But he’s the face of Miami sports!? Yes. He is the new quarterback for a team we have been waiting more than 20 years to love again. He is who South Florida is willing with all its might to become a superstar and lift Miami. On potential and the hope of excitement he brings, Tua is on top.”

Tagovailoa was ranked higher than stars like Miami Heat basketball players Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem, as well as Florida Panthers hockey star Aleksander Barkov.

In addition, Tagovailoa sat above four Dolphins teammates including quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, wide receiver DeVante Parker, as well as cornerbacks Xavien Howard and Byron Jones.

The Dolphins selected Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick in this year’s NFL draft and are expecting big things over the course of his career.

Prior to the 2019 college football season, Tagovailoa was seen as a potential top pick, but injury concerns kept him on the board until the Dolphins were ready to make their first choice in the draft.

Tagovailoa being named the face of Miami sports is likely a surprise to many, considering it’s very possible that he won’t see much action during the 2020 season as he learns the team’s offense and recovers fully from his injuries.

However, Tagovailoa has the potential to make the Dolphins strong contenders in the years ahead. Besides his obvious athletic abilities, Tagovailoa has shown the type of leadership ability that helped the University of Alabama win a national title in 2018.

Tagovailoa and his Dolphins teammates are getting prepared to start practicing for the 2020 season, which could be the first step toward solidifying Tagovailoa’s top spot in future rankings.

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Brad is a freelance writer for Dolphinnation.com and has been around long enough to remember the 1972 perfect season, and even when Don Shula was coaching the Colts. He still follows the Dolphins and other happenings in the NFL, so he can offer a little perspective when it comes to the ups and downs of each season. Some of his opinions may end up differing from the people who read them, but that's par for the course when it comes to life in South Florida.