INDIANAPOLIS -- Tua Tagovailoa has tried to not pay attention to the "Tank for Tua" craze that has surrounded him and the Miami Dolphins for much of past year.
But thoughts of the possible connection have been unavoidable.
"My teammates would tell me, 'Hey, bro, look at this. Dolphins want you.' I'd be flattered," Tagovailoa said Tuesday as he was flanked by media during the NFL scouting combine.
"But as a kid growing up, that's like a dream to have an organization want you, especially the fans there."
Tagovailoa and the Dolphins have been linked to each other through the media narrative for much of the past 13 months. The Dolphins watched Tagovailoa play four times last season. And Tagovailoa has taken two trips to the South Florida area already this year.
Sun Sentinel reporters Safid Deen and Omar Kelly discuss Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday at the NFL combine.
But this week during the NFL combine will be the first time Tagovailoa and the Dolphins formally meet ahead of April's draft -- in which Miami owns the No. 5 pick among its 14 selections.
"We're just going through the process of getting to know him, but again, he seems like a great kid and the medical (evaluation) will tell us what it is," Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said of Tagovailoa.
"We'll go through our process and get to know him, but (we are) excited to meet him, as well as a bunch of other prospects."
The Dolphins know a successful rebuild hinges on finding the right quarterback to lead their franchise.