Saturday’s ACC Championship game was likely DJ Uiagalelei’s final game with Clemson. The Tigers’ starting quarterback from 2021 and 2022 is expected to transfer after this season.
Uiagalelei was benched in favor of Cade Klubnik during the first half against North Carolina, which was the final nail in his metaphorical Clemson coffin. Klubnik went 10-of-11 for 149 yards and a touchdown in relief during the first half and put the No. 10-ranked Tigers up 24-10 at the break.
It is Klubnik’s job moving forward and he will be the incumbent starter for next year.
DJ Uiagalelei’s future hangs in the balance.
Uiagalelei now has a decision to make. He is on track to graduate early, as a junior, with two years of eligibility remaining.
Due to his academic standing and the new portal rules, Uiagalelei will be able to transfer to a new program during the offseason without having to sit out a year. He can compete for a starting job at another school right away.
Uiagalelei, a former five-star prospect himself, came with high expectations. At 6-foot-4, 235(ish)-pounds, he was an absolute stud in high school.
Although his time at Clemson has been very up and down, he has been the subject of a lot of criticism. Spencer Rattler spoke to that notion after beating the Tigers last weekend.
Over the course of Uiagalelei’s Clemson career, he has completed 60% of his 855 pass attempts for 5,671 yards and 36 touchdowns with 17 interceptions. The California-native also added 913 yards and 15 touchdowns on 275 rushing attempts.
Needless to say, Uiagalelei can play. And now that he has decided to transfer, he would gain a lot of interest.
Potential transfer destinations for DJ Uiagalelei.
Although there is no telling where Uiagalelei would end up if he was to enter the portal, there are a few programs in particular that would make a lot of sense. Most of them are in the Pac-12.
——— UTAH UTES ———
The Utes were one of the 30 teams to offer Uiagalelei out of high school. While that isn’t saying much, the staff in Salt Lake City is almost identical to how it was in 2019. Cam Rising, aka ThiccBoi7, may make the jump to the NFL this offseason and they could be in search of a ready-to-play quarterback.
——— UCLA BRUINS ———
Right around the corner from where Uiagalelei grew up, the Bruins will need a quarterback next year with DTR off to the pros! Chip Kelly and staff did not offer him the first go around, probably because USC was so heavily in the mix and they already had their guy.
——— OREGON DUCKS ———
Bo Nix may or may not stick around. If he doesn’t, Dan Lanning has already proved he likes transfer quarterbacks and could like the idea of a battle between Uiagalelei and Ty Thompson.
——— WASHINGTON HUSKIES ———
If Michael Penix Jr. goes pro, Uiagalelei’s skillset would be an easy plug-and-play in that system.
——— LSU TIGERS ———
It feels like Jayden Daniels is headed to the NFL. Should that happen, Garrett Nussmeier is probably the guy in Baton Rogue next year. Walker Howard is also in town.
With that being said, Brian Kelly was personally victimized by Uiagalelei in 2020. Maybe that’s his quarterback kink.
——— AUBURN TIGERS ———
This is probably not going to happen and Robby Ashford could end up being very good, but Hugh Freeze is starting over on The Plains. Crazier things have happened.
F—k it, why not bring Uiagalelei to Alabama?