It’s not every day another quarterback can make Trevor Lawrence look normal, but that is what freshman D.J. Uiagalelei did at times during Clemson’s nine spring practices, according to his head coach.
Dabo Swinney said, while giving the media a post-spring practice update on Friday, that Uiagalelei was just unbelievable at times during the Tigers’ nine practices this spring, especially given his size … 6-foot-5, 245 pounds.
“D.J. is, he is just an unbelievable talent. He is just unbelievable,” Swinney said. “To see a guy that big, he sometimes makes Trevor, and we all know what type of arm Trevor has, and sometimes he makes Trevor just kind of look normal with his ability to just rip that football.
“It is unbelievable. It really is, and then, oh by the way, he is 6-5, 245 pounds and can move.”
Uiagalelei, the No. 1 quarterback and the No. 2 overall prospect coming out of high school, was considered a pocket passer by the major recruiting services but he proved he can be a dynamic dual-threat weapon when he wants to. Not only did he pass for 10,496 yards and 127 touchdowns in his high school career at St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), but he also rushed for 1,103 yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging 6.1 yards per carry.
“I have never really seen a guy quite like him. He is very unique,” Swinney said.
And though Uiagalelei still has a lot to learn, the coaches were very pleased with how quickly he picked things up and never got overwhelmed.
“You look at these guys and you forget they are just pups. They have so much to learn,” Swinney said. “What I was pleased with in him, he picked it up very quick. He was never really overwhelmed, and if he was, I did not know it. I loved his demeanor.
“Regardless of who you put him in with, he just kinda found a way to move the ball. He has a lot to learn and a lot to do this summer. But I thought he really took advantage of his opportunities and got better from Day 1 through Day 9. He got better and better. That is what you want to see with a guy like him.”
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