Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa received a hero’s welcome in his hometown of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, Saturday. The community celebrated the QB with a parade.

Three days ago while speaking with a group of middle schoolers, Tagovailoa revealed his desire to leave Alabama and transfer to USC during last season, and he further explained he likely would have had he not played in the national championship game against Georgia.

“I called my dad and asked him if my offer to the University of Southern California was still available,” Tagovailoa said according to Taryn Hatcher of Hawaii News Now. “I wanted to leave. I told my dad I wanted to go to a school where I thought it’d be easier for me and wouldn’t challenge me so much.

“Even throughout my football season, I wasn’t the starter,” Tagovailoa continued. “I wanted to leave the school. So I told myself if I didn’t play in the last game, which was the National Championship Game, I would transfer out. If I gave in, I don’t think I would have seen the end blessing of where I am now.”

Of course, Tagovailoa’s comments went viral. CBS42’s Simone Eli traveled to Hawaii to report on the homecoming, and during her sit-down with the signal caller, Tagovailoa explained why the comments were actually taken out of context.

“First off, I think if you’re a collegiate athlete, you’re most definitely competitive,” Tagovailoa told Eli. “I mean, you’re going to feel like you want to play, and if your opportunity is not given, you know, sometimes you make emotional decisions. But I think for me, what I meant was when you feel like you kind of want to quit or if you want to give in, I think the more you kind of put your head in the ground — in the dirt, and you keep working and pushing, trying to push through it, I think that’s when you start to see the better of the end result.