Swinney on Uiagalelei: ‘He’s just not a typical freshman’

Swinney on Uiagalelei: ‘He’s just not a typical freshman’


Swinney on Uiagalelei: ‘He’s just not a typical freshman’


Clemson’s head coach updates backup QB battle

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney spoke with the media after the Tigers wrapped up fall camp Tuesday and gave an update on where things stand in the backup quarterback battle between true freshman D.J. Uiagalelei and redshirt freshman Taisun Phommachanh.

Uiagalelei was impressive in his first camp at Clemson and showed he can learn on the fly, while Phommachanh has really improved since he stepped foot on campus in January 2019 according to Swinney.

“We’ve got two excellent prospects right there, two really talented (players),” Swinney said. “Taisun has been here a year, and he’s a little bit more of a developmental guy from where he started, but man he’s made huge strides in a year. Very talented. They’re different. They’re similar in some regards and they’re different as well. And then D.J., he’s just as advertised. He’s just a very gifted player. He’s 250 pounds. He’s just not a typical freshman coming in here, and then he has just really picked things up quickly. So, it’s a heck of a competition and a great battle, and they’re both doing some really good things.”

While fall camp is in the books for Clemson with classes set to begin Wednesday, the competition for who will serve as the No. 2 quarterback behind Trevor Lawrence will continue until the Tigers’ scheduled season opener at Wake Forest on Sept. 12.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” Swinney said. “They’re both competing every single day. We’ve got three and a half weeks to go, so every rep counts, every days counts. I will say this — regardless of how it plays out, I’m confident in both of them. We could win with either one of them, I really believe that. But obviously somebody’s got to run out there second, I guess, if we had to at some point. So, we’ll see how it all plays out.”

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