The familiar question swirled for Tua Tagovailoa as yet another set of circumstances beyond his control further altered his plans. 

It wasn’t enough that a season-ending injury and surgery had robbed him of the final games of his junior season at Alabama. The rehabilitation process also cost the quarterback a chance to compete at the NFL scouting combine in February.

The final apparent setback and potential threat to his draft stock came in the form of the COVID-19 restrictions that forced the cancellation of pre-draft visits and Tagovailoa’s pro day.

But rather than asking, “Why,” as many would have, Tagovailoa offered his typical response: “What’s next?” 

“I would say that’s been my entire life: adversity. I’ve dealt with adversity for as long as I could remember,” Tagovailoa told USA TODAY Sports in an interview this week, just days before the NFL draft begins Thursday. “I had to deal with it in high school when my grandfather passed away. I had to deal with it in college my freshman year when my grandmother passed away. "