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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Dabo Swinney has strong response for critics of QB DJ Uiagalelei

Dabo Swinney

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney after the 14-8 win over Georgia Tech in Clemson, S.C., September 18, 2021. Credit: Ken Ruinard / staff via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei endured a disappointing first season as starter in 2021, and he became a firm target of fan criticisms. Some critics still have yet to be won over, but coach Dabo Swinney is not listening to them.

Swinney had a strong response Wednesday when asked about Clemson fans being critical of Uiagalelei. The coach pointed out that he did not need to hear from people who, in his mind, thought Uiagalelei was superior to Trevor Lawrence when Uiagalelei was a freshman.

To be fair, a lot of the criticism of Uiagalelei was warranted in 2021. Swinney knew it then, too, as he at one point benched the quarterback who had been touted as a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate.

Clemson’s hope is that with a full year as starter under his belt and an offseason to prepare, Uiagalelei will be much better in 2022. If that is not the case, these Swinney dismissals will not age well.


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