Tua Tagovailoa expects medical clearance March 9

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tua Tagovailoa expects to receive full medical clearance on March 9, a date he has been counting down to for a long time.

The former Alabama quarterback won't throw or participate in on-field drills at the NFL combine, but he will hold his own pro day on April 9, when he expects to throw for teams.

Tagovailoa's focus at the combine has been doing well in the medical examinations and interviews.

"Up to this point, I've been rehabbing my butt off," he said Tuesday. "After March 9, when I get clearance from my doctors, then it's full go up until my pro day. ... I'll be ready to go."

Tagovailoa, who suffered a posterior wall fracture and dislocated hip in mid-November, says the rehab process has been "a grind" and the medical portion of the combine has been "a process."

He did some medical exams in Indianapolis on Monday, arriving at 10 a.m. and leaving at 7:49 p.m. He said he was the last player to leave. He will do more medical evaluations Tuesday.

Tagovailoa says all the medical evaluations he has received from his doctors have been positive and he expects to play in the 2020 season.

Once March 9 arrives, Tagovailoa expects to start throwing, running, rolling out and doing dropbacks and other things expected of a quarterback. He has been doing some throwing, but he will do so without restrictions after medical clearance.

"I'm hoping to do everything," Tagovailoa said. "I don't think there is much to wait on."

"This rehab process has gradually been getting up as far as workouts with what we've been doing, strengthening all the parts around the hip -- the glute, the hamstring, the quad," he said. "Just being able to be ready [so] that once March 9 hits and we're cleared to go, then I'll be able to do everything."

Tagovailoa might be the draft's most intriguing prospect -- from his talent, to his medicals to his effusive personality. The 6-foot, 217-pound signal-caller says he tries to model himself on and off the field after Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. He's training with former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer through the pre-draft process and is getting help from ex-NFL head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

If Tagovailoa's medicals are clean, he's expected to be a strong candidate to be a top-five pick. Oddsmakers have listed the Detroit Lions at No. 3 and the Miami Dolphins at No. 5 as the co-favorites to land him.

Tagovailoa met with the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. He hasn't met with the Dolphins yet, but he expects to do so soon. The Dolphins, who are strong candidates to take a quarterback with their top pick, are also eager to meet with Tagovailoa.

Tagovailoa says his Alabama teammates made him aware of the "Tank for Tua" campaign started by Dolphins fans and he was flattered by it. The Dolphins didn't end up tanking -- winning five of their last nine games, including the season finale at New England -- but they still might have a chance to land Tagovailoa.

"As a kid growing up, that's like a dream to have an organization want you, especially the fans there," Tagovailoa said. "You get the support for the fans, it makes it big time. I've been grateful."

Tagovailoa grew up a  Dallas Cowboys fan -- he even has two dogs named Dallas and Star. He said it would be fun to play in Dallas, but he reiterated that he would love to play anywhere.

"Whatever team decides to take me, I'd be grateful. Whether it's first or 32nd or 200, I'd be grateful just to be picked," Tagovailoa said.