This time last year, Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was one of the freshmen impressing during spring practice. Now, a year later, he is the one being impressed by the Tigers’ newcomers.
Uiagalelei said Monday several freshmen have stood out to him on the field over the first few days of spring practice, including safety Andrew Mukuba and running back Will Shipley.
Mukuba is a former unanimous four-star recruit from LBJ Early College High School in Austin, Texas, while Shipley was rated as a five-star prospect and the nation’s top all-purpose back coming out of Weddington High School in Matthews, N.C.
“I know one guy on the defensive side I like is Mukuba,” Uiagalelei said. “I like him a lot. He looks really good.
“Another guy I’d say on the offensive side is Will Shipley. During all the mat drills, all the practices and stuff, he’s looked great out here. He’s a really fast running back, and you can just tell he has that mindset to him where he just wants to come out and compete. You can just tell he’s really locked in and really focused, and he comes from a great program.”
Another freshman Uiagalelei knows all about and already has a great connection with is wide receiver Beaux Collins.
The two were teammates and won a national championship together at St. John Bosco in Bellflower, Calif., and Uiagalelei is enjoying being back on the field with him in Clemson uniforms.
“It’s been a year since I’ve played with Beaux, but having him out here at practice feels exactly the same,” Uiagalelei said. “Being able to play with him in high school, just having that comfortability with him, being able to throw with him, it’s been great. We built a great chemistry at St. John Bosco, and just being able to have him here at Clemson, this is all I can ask. He’s been doing really good out here, picking up the offense great, and he’s been looking really well at practice.”
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