Alabama coach Nick Saban said Thursday that he was hopeful the Dolphins would draft his quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, whom Miami selected with the fifth overall pick in last week’s NFL Draft, and believes he will be be “a great face of the organization there.”

In a video conference conversation with three South Florida media outlets Thursday morning, Saban said:

“I was really, really hopeful that Miami would take him. Tua’s such a great person. Really was a very, very good leader here. One of the most popular players that we’ve ever had with our fans and our fan base. I think he will be a great face of the organization there.

“I was just rooting for the guy. I felt so bad about him getting injured. Would those consequences of that injury affect his draft status dramatically? Probably as anxious as I ever was about a player getting drafted, so I was really excited about the fact that Miami ended up taking him. I think this is going to work out great. Tua’s a great player, and he’s going to be an even better person in the community and the organization.”

He reiterated the need for Tagovailoa to learn to protect his body more when being pursued by defenders.