Among the 74,800 people in attendance for Monday’s national title game was one of Clemson’s top targets regardless of class.
Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco five-star quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei – the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect in the 2020 class – traveled to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., to witness Clemson’s 44-16 beatdown of Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship. He had a front row seat for the action as he watched the game from behind Clemson’s bench.
As you’d expect, Uiagalelei was impressed by the performance of the Tigers against the Crimson Tide.
“Pure domination,” he said, reacting to the rout.
Uiagalelei liked what he saw from Trevor Lawrence, another former five-star quarterback who of course played a huge role in Clemson’s historic win.
“Best performance of the season,” Uiagalelei said.
Uiagalelei made the six-hour trip from his hometown to Santa Clara with a small traveling party that included a few of his assistant coaches at St. John Bosco. They stayed at the same hotel as the Clemson team the night before the game.
Throughout his time in Santa Clara, Uiagalelei felt a lot of love from the many Tiger fans there who recognized him as the country’s top-ranked recruit.
“It’s crazy,” he said. “They all knew who I was at the game and in the hotel.”
“I took about 100 pictures,” he added, laughing.
The Tigers remain the top contender for Uiagalelei, who got a glimpse of his potential future while watching Clemson in person Monday night.
“Man it was a special moment to think that could maybe be me in a couple of years,” he said.
Uiagalelei said he isn’t sure when he will make his commitment decision. As a junior this season, the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder completed 70 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,366 yards and 48 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He also ran for 312 yards and six scores.