Clemson coach Dabo Swinney breaks down 2019 recruiting class
Clemson had already landed three five-star recruits in the past month entering Sunday. The Tigers can now add a five-star quarterback to that list.
DJ Uiagalelei, the nation’s top quarterback, committed to the Tigers on Sunday. He announced his decision on Twitter.
“Football and sports is a big thing,” Uiagalelei said in his commitment video. “But I also want to become a better person, get more connected with God. Just get closer with him. Whatever college could also do that, that’s where I want to be at.”
Moments later, he announced his pick an the video turned to him shaking hands with Dabo Swinney in Death Valley.
Uiagalelei visited Clemson last summer. He returned for the South Carolina game and the spring game in early April. From those visits and meetings with head coach Dabo Swinney and the offensive coaching staff, he got the insight he needed to make an informed decision to go with Clemson.
“I knew for sure, well the time I felt it, was probably when I was out there in June – almost a year ago,” Uiagalelei said. “It was the first time I had been out there. I just felt like this was the place I needed to be. That was when I felt it. I felt like, this is definitely the place for me and this definitely where I want to be. This is where I want to play.”
He said he made his commitment on that April visit, but at least entertained Oregon for the past month. He also held offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ohio state and several other schools.
According to his commitment video, he got his first offer in sixth grade. Alabama offered him as a freshman.
“For me, the first time I was out there and being able to see college coaches talk about Jesus Christ, that was huge for me,” he said. “Seeing that, I knew this is the place I wanted to be. The people here talk about Jesus and they’re being open about it. That was a big thing for me because I had never heard that from a coaching staff or coaches before talk about Jesus Christ and just being open about it and showing their faith. I could just feel the Holy Spirit talking to me and telling me this is the place I need to be.”
Uiagalelei gives Clemson 14 commits for the class of 2020. The Tigers currently hold the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.
As a junior Uiagalelei threw for 3,366 yards, 48 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He led California powerhouse St. John Bosco to a 13-1 record and a No. 3 finish in the USA Today national rankings.
In addition to Uiagalelei, five-star defensive tackle Bryan Bresee, five-star running back Demarkcus Bowman and five-star cornerback Fred Davis all committed to the Tigers within the past month.
Uiagalelei will arrive just before Trevor Lawrence’s junior season. The former No. 1 overall recruit threw for 3,280 yards, 30 touchdowns and four interceptions as a true freshman and is projected to be a top overall draft pick should he leave after that junior season.
Uiagalelei’s commitment also marks the second year in a row the Tigers pulled a top talent from the Golden State as four-star wide receiver Joe Ngata out of the Sacramento area enrolled at Clemson in January.
So the feeling that came into focus in June, and all but solidified this past month led him across the country, as the Tigers’ loaded cast of QBs grows deeper looking forward.
“I was pretty much ‘All In’ – both me and my family,” he said. “I also wanted to make sure that my parents and my brother saw Oregon just kind of to make sure that we were making the right decision, but I already felt like we were making the right decision because I already committed, so it was like I already know what I’m doing. Going back to Oregon, it solidified the decision for Clemson. It just made it that much more clear. It was clear but it just made it super clear, like 20/20 vision.”