Tua Tagovailoa offers special message about his youth football camp in Hawaii

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Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins star Tua Tagovailoa has come a long way since leaving Hawaii after graduating from high school to pursue his football dreams. However, it seems that when given the chance, he is willing to give back to the community in his home state.

Tagovailoa recently held a football camp for the youth in Honolulu, sharing that it had always been his dream to pay it forward in the same manner as other Hawaiian football stars had done before him.

“This was awesome with it being our first Tua Foundation youth football camp out here,” Tagovailoa said. “I remember at one point, I was in these kids’ shoes, and guys like Manti [Te’o] and Marcus [Mariota], they would come back and have things like this. Really is truly about giving back to the youth, giving back to the community that have helped you become who you are, and that’s sort of what I believe.

“So, doing this was very special for me. In a way, it’s kinda happy, sad because I’ve waited a little longer than I probably should have to have done something like this. But, I’m excited that we got to get this one done, and we look forward to next year’s.”

Before enrolling at the University of Alabama in 2017, Tagovailoa was a standout quarterback in high school, resulting in his recruitment to the Crimson Tide football program. Mariota, the No. 2 pick of the 2015 draft who currently plays for the Washington Commanders, first started mentoring Tagovailoa in the fourth grade.

Te’o also helped pave the way for Tagovailoa by becoming one of the most promising football prospects from Hawaii ever, securing several awards while playing for the University of Notre Dame. The linebacker also made it to the NFL as a second-round pick in the 2013 draft.

Now, it’s Tagovailoa’s turn to inspire the next generation of football players from the state. Dolphins teammates Jalen Ramsey and Terron Armstead were also seen helping out at the camp.

Terron Armstead, Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Ramsey

In around a week, Tagovailoa will likely be back with the Dolphins organization, with their offseason program slated to begin on April 15.

The team has plenty of work to do in order to build on two consecutive playoff appearances. Last season was the first time Miami made consecutive trips to the postseason since the 2001 campaign. It will look to make it three straight in the 2024 season.

Unfortunately, the Dolphins have yet to advance past the wild card round since the 2000 season, falling to the Buffalo Bills in the 2023 playoffs and Kansas City Chiefs earlier this year.

Hopefully, Tagovailoa is up to the task of helping the squad improve further. The future looks bright for the 26-year-old quarterback after securing his first Pro Bowl selection and leading the league in passing yards in the 2023 campaign.

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Orel is a proud contributor of Dolphin Nation. He started following the league in the late 1990s and was able to watch Dan Marino's final playing years.