Alabama Tua teaser

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) warms up before the Alabama vs. Arkansas game in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday October 6, 2018.

TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa takes great pride in his second job as the team’s holder on field goals and extra points.

The left-handed gunslinger joked before the season opener that he spends more time practicing his holding technique than on his throwing.

Now, it appears the Heisman Trophy front-runner and reigning Maxwell Award winner is gunning for another trophy for his mantle: the Pete Mortell Award.

“I didn’t know there was an award for holding, so that’s pretty cool,” Tagovailoa said Monday. “I’ll try to work my way up to get my name out there for the holder award. But it's pretty cool. (Junior long snapper) Thomas Fletcher talked to me about there being an award for that so I’m working my butt off, trying to get it.”

Originally a playful and made-up prize developed by its namesake and original recipient, former Minnesota punter Pete Mortell, the Mortell Award – also known as the HOTY – is presented annually to college football’s best holder on field goals and extra points every year since 2015.

Of course, those in charge of the award’s Twitter account, @MortellAward, already consider Tagovailoa as a prime contender for the prize after tweeting that the quarterback “will now be competing for the most prestigious award college football has to offer. He also should be a Heisman Trophy frontrunner. Best of luck. #HOTY” after a video of Tagovailoa’s zeal about holding went viral two weeks ago.

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