D.J. Uiagalelei took questions from the media Monday following the first glimpse of the freshman quarterback this past Saturday at Wake Forest.
Uiagalelei shared how his preparation in high school helped shape him for playing at Clemson, while allowing him to learn behind Trevor Lawrence.
On how his high school prepared him for Clemson
“I feel like at St. John Bosco, where I went to high school at, our offense is super similar to what we do here at Clemson. I feel like Coach Lowe, my offensive coordinator, did a great job preparing me coming into Clemson. Some of the similar reads and plays that we run here at Clemson, I feel like I did a lot in my high school. I feel like it gave me a little push and head start that helped me grasp it a little better than maybe if I went to another high school.”
On himself as a runner
“I feel like I’m definitely not the fastest guy on the field. I’m 250 so I’m not the fastest guy, but I feel like I move pretty well for how big I am. I just want to go north and south, not east and west when I run. If someone’s in my way, I like contact, so I like to feel the contact, especially using my helmet.”
On the biggest thing he wants to learn from Lawrence
“I think some of the things are just the way he approaches the game. Right when he steps on the field, he takes on a business mindset. Every single rep matters. Every single rep counts. It doesn’t matter if it’s a walk-through rep. You can just see that he makes sure he’s accountable with everything he has to do and takes it super seriously. He wants everyone to know that he’s the leader on the team and everyone knows that. It’s how accountable he is. That’s one thing I’m trying to work on and want to be just like him in. I like how accountable he is for the team. Everyone knows he’s going to get his job done. He’s going to perform for the team on and off the field and that’s one big thing I want to take away from him.”
On his first memory of Clemson
“It was definitely when Tajh Boyd was here. He was the quarterback. I was watching ESPN on Saturday morning or afternoon because I think they played at 12 o’clock. I was younger, I think it was maybe middle school, I just remember one play they just threw a bomb. I had just seen them throwing bombs…like boom, boom, boom. I was like, ‘Man, this is the type of offense I want to play. I just want to throw the ball deep.’ That was the first memory, I was like, ‘Man, it was Clemson.’ I liked the orange jerseys that they had on…you don’t really see orange and purple. Then you see the Hill … it was all pretty dope.”
On teammate Bryan Bresee
“That’s my roommate. It’s always good playing against him. Bryan’s the real deal so to be able to see him go out there in the game and be able to get his first sack, I was super excited. I about ran on the field to go celebrate with him. He’s a big dude. He’s 6’5. 300 lbs. He can dunk the basketball. He can do a 360. His athleticism is through the roof. That’s how smart of a football player he is. He’s going to be an amazing athlete here.”