D.J. Uiagalelei, who has been the starting quarterback at Clemson over the last two seasons, has reportedly found a new home. After spending the first three years of his college career in the Southeast, Uiagalelei will finish his college tenure in the opposite corner of the United States, the Northwest, at Oregon State.
Pete Thamel of ESPN reported the news on Twitter.
“Sources: Former Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is expected to commit to Oregon State. An announcement is expected in the upcoming days.”
Sources: Former Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is expected to commit to Oregon State. An announcement is expected in the upcoming days.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 24, 2022
The Beavers finished their 2022 season with a 30-3 blowout of Florida in the Las Vegas Bowl. That gave Oregon State a 10-3 record on the season. The Beavers won nine combined games over the 2020 and 2021 seasons and hadn’t won 10 games in a single season since 2006.
The general feeling was that Uiagalelei’s transfer could help spark a program on the rise to even greater heights in 2023.
BeaverBlitz, an Oregon State site on the CBS Network, tweeted “Where there was smoke…we now have a 5 alarm fire…”
Carter Bahns, a writer for BeaverBlitz, also noted how big the move was, saying “This is, obviously, gargantuan news.”
Where there was smoke…we now have a 5 alarm fire… https://t.co/nCdWvOGaQC
— BeaverBlitz (@BeaverBlitz) December 24, 2022
This is, obviously, gargantuan news. https://t.co/zuGjnMTiaT
— Carter Bahns (@carterbahns) December 24, 2022
Those were not the only two accounts to see this as a huge get for Oregon State.
Max Olson, The Athletic: “DJ has kept things quiet with his recruitment from start to finish, but this is one of the destinations that seemed to make the most sense.”
DJ has kept things quiet with his recruitment from start to finish, but this is one of the destinations that seemed to make the most sense. https://t.co/ucnvXuDKik
— Max Olson (@max_olson) December 24, 2022
— Rich Kurz (@KOINRich) December 24, 2022
John Canazano, Radio host and columnist: “Big get for Oregon State.”
Big get for Oregon State. https://t.co/J0sFYBlQJf
— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) December 24, 2022
Stewart Mandel, The Athletic: “The 2023 Pac-12 QB roster is insane.”
The 2023 Pac-12 QB roster is insane. https://t.co/wBEZXprsST
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 24, 2022
JP Acosta, SB Nation: “DJU, Caleb Williams, Michael Penix, Bo Nix and Dante Moore in the same conference next year my goodness.” And “Oh yeah and add in Cam Ward and Shedeur Sanders. That conference is gonna be a bloodbath”
Oh yeah and add in Cam Ward and Shedeur Sanders. That conference is gonna be a bloodbath
— JP Acosta (@acosta32_jp) December 24, 2022
Uiagalelei became Clemson’s full-time starter in 2022, replacing Trevor Lawrence. While Uiagalelei had some moments for the Tigers, he didn’t capture the same magic that Lawrence and Deshaun Watson had.
The cracks started to show in October, when Uiagalelei was benched in a game against Syracuse, with Clemson trailing 21-7. Cade Klubnik relieved Uiagalelei and helped spark the Tigers to a come-from-behind win. While Uiagalelei didn’t lose his starting job, he was pulled from the next game (though only briefly), after struggling in a loss to Notre Dame.
Uiagalelei again remained under center for the remainder of the season. In the ACC Championship Game, though, he again was benched for Klubnik. This time, Dabo Swinney made it clear that Klubnik would be Clemson’s starter going forward, beginning with the Orange Bowl against Tennessee. After that, Uiagalelei announced his intention to transfer.
But while Uiagalelei is a work in progress, there’s a lot for the Beavers and their fans to be excited about. In his two seasons as a starter, he completed 58.7% of his passes for 4,767 yards with 31 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He added 853 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Most of that damage came in 2022, when he completed 61.9% of his passes for 2,521 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions and ran for 545 yards with seven touchdowns.
If he can continue to show that improvement as a senior at Oregon State, Uiagalelei should be a great addition for the Beavers in 2023.
[Pete Thamel on Twitter]