It’s homecoming weekend at Clemson and while the Tigers will welcome back thousands of grads, the football staff will focus much of its attention on a high school junior they will welcome back for a second visit. Bellflower, Ca., 2020 quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is regarded as the top prospect in his class and Clemson is a strong player for him at this point.
Uiagalelei visited Clemson earlier this year. This time he’s returning with his father, coach and a teammate. Clemson quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter has been in regular communication with Uiagalelei and one recent topic of conversation was the recent departure of former starting quarterback Kelly Bryant.
“He just said that every year you have to earn your spot and that you’re not handed your spot,” Uiagalelei said. “You have to earn your spot and earn your playing time, and that’s what basically happened. Trevor Lawrence earned his playing time from the games and that Kelly Bryant was going to play still, but after they told him he transferred. They had no clue that was going to happen.”
Oregon has been hot on Uiagalelei and he visited there recently. He also plans to see Auburn. His previous visit to Clemson was for camp last summer so this time he’ll get to see the Tigers in action and get a feel for a game in Death Valley. Uiagalelei has a game Friday night so the plan to is flight out immediately after that.
“I just want to be out there to see the game and see how the atmosphere is. I want to see what it’s like out there,” he said. “I want my dad to come to see what Clemson is like - the school, the atmosphere, the coaching staff, the environment, the whole thing. We will be there Saturday and Sunday.”
Besides Clemson, Oregon and Auburn, Uiagalelei said LSU, Alabama, Arizona State and Oklahoma are others he likes as well.
“I honestly have no idea when I want to commit. It’s kind of up in the air right now” Uiagalelei said. “There are a lot of factors for me with football and baseball in the mix so I really don’t know when I’ll decide. I’m just going to pray hard about it and we’ll see what happens.”
According to stats from MaxPreps, thru eight games this season Uiagalelei has 1848 yards with 28 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. As a sophomore he passed for 2733 yards with 29 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.