EWA BEACH, Hawaii (WIAT) – CBS 42 Sports’ Simone Eli spoke exclusively with Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in his hometown of Ewa Beach.

Tagovailoa says reports that he would’ve transferred to USC, had he not played in the championship game, were “most definitely taken out of context.”

Tua: “Well first off, I think if you’re a collegiate athlete, you’re most definitely competitive. You’re going to feel like you want to play and if your opportunity is not given and sometimes you make emotional decisions. What I meant was, when you feel like you want to quit, or you want to give in, the more you put your head in the ground and keep working, trying to push through it, that’s when you see the better of the end result. I kind of got the wrong end what I saw that ESPN–they definitely took it out of context saying that if I didn’t play I would’ve left. If you don’t stick it out, like I said, you won’t see the end result and what God has prepared. Which is the blessing and I don’t think I would’ve experienced it had I left. I was talking about the fourth quarter, when we were doing the first day of fourth quarter and I called my dad and I wanted to leave. I told him I wanted to go to USC.”

Simone: “Fourth quarter is part of your workout program. Not the fourth quarter of a game, it’s a workout program?”

Tua: “It was the first day of running. I came back to the dorm after running and I called my dad and told him, let’s go I can’t do this. If I just didn’t stick it in through that fourth quarter, and spring ball, during camp and during the season, I don’t think me and you would’ve been here talking right now truly.”