D.J. Uiagalelei Gets Brutally Honest About Old Clemson Offense After Getting Pushed Out, Transferring To Oregon State

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It was a very big deal when DJ Uiagalelei committed to Clemson. The five-star, top-10 recruit was set to take over for Trevor Lawrence and continue the Tigers’ reign near the top of college football.

Three years later, at the end of the 2022/23 season, the tide had completely changed. It was if Uiagalelei couldn’t get out of town fast enough.

Clemson lost three games in back-to-back years, with Uiagalelei at the helm, and the quarterback play played an undeniable role in their struggles. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound quarterback didn’t play horribly — he completed 62.1% of his passes for 2,521 yards and 22 touchdowns with seven interceptions in 2022 — but couldn’t quite get it all to click.

As a result, ahead of the ACC Championship game, Dabo Swinney turned to five-star freshman Cade Klubnik. Uiagalelei was benched and did not get back on the field for the Tigers.

He hit the transfer portal ahead of Clemson’s Orange Bowl appearance and ended up at Oregon State. Uiagalelei will start for the Beavers this fall, barring unforeseen circumstances.

DJ Uiagalelei remains hopeful.

Although his journey has not gone as planned, Uiagalelei is staying positive. He recently opened up about his past and his excitement for the future in a recent article by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic.

In doing so, Uiagalelei was brutally honest about the offense at Clemson while talking about what he was looking for in his next program, which became Oregon State. The 22-year-old didn’t think that his old offense set him up well for success, or for the future.

I didn’t want to do what I was doing at Clemson. I didn’t really like what we did there scheme-wise. I didn’t think we did very much. I thought it was very basic. It didn’t help me out as a quarterback and play to my strengths.

I wanted to go somewhere that would play to my strengths and go somewhere that would develop me for the NFL. Play-action, work under center, throw the ball deep.

— D.K. Uiagalelei, via The Athletic

Shots fired? Perhaps.

But Uiagalelei isn’t wrong and even Swinney knows it. The Tigers’ head coach brought-in Garrett Riley from TCU as his new offensive coordinator for 2023 because the offense wasn’t working.

Meanwhile, as Clemson hopes that its new system can help get it back to the Playoff, Uiagalelei is working on himself at Oregon State with hopes of hearing his name called next April. It will be an interesting case study to see how he improves, or doesn’t improve, at a new school.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.


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    • Bingo!.. Just another entitled athlete who isn’t accountable for his own personal challenges, and this statement comes from a Gamecock alumni!! I would love to pile on Dabo and Clemson, but this is about an inaccurate QB struggling to be special.

  1. DJU did not get “pushed out”. He sucked, sucked, sucked for two years. After two ground balls to open the ACC Championship game, Dabo finally got tired of watching it. The Clemson fans were tired of watching midway through the 2021 season. He got more than a fair shake. Everyone outside the program had just one thought — Why is DJU still playing? The bottom line is he is a lousy quarterback. He gets nervous and has happy feet when he has the ball in his hands. A lot of overthrows. Zero touch on his passes. He can throw it deep. Nobody can catch it, but he can throw it deep. I am wondering if Oregon State watched one second of film trying to play QB at Clemson. Oregon State fans will find out soon enough. DJU can’t play dead in a cowboy movie. If he doesn’t play, he and his loud mouth dad will cause lots of problems.

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