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DJ Uiagalelei has critical assessment of his time at Clemson

DJ Uiagalelei talks with the media

Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei talks with media in Clemson, S.C., September 27, 2021. Ken Ruinard / staff via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Former Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei was once Trevor Lawrence’s anointed successor and a highly-rated NFL Draft prospect. Things changed in his two years as a starter, and he thinks the team was partly at fault for it.

Uiagalelei, now at Oregon State, said that Clemson’s offensive system did not play to his strengths, which is part of what prompted him to transfer to a school that runs more of a pro-style offense.

“I didn’t want to do what I was doing at Clemson,” Uiagalelei told Bruce Feldman of The Athletic. “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.”

Whether Clemson’s offense was “basic” is in the eye of the beholder. After all, Lawrence played in it before Uiagalelei and got drafted first overall. Scheme is also not the reason Uiagalelei could be prone to uncorking inaccurate throws and running a generally sluggish offense.

Perhaps Clemson agreed to a degree, because they replaced their offensive coordinator over the offseason. Still, unless Uiagalelei looks way better at Oregon State, this is going to sound like sour grapes to a lot of people.


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