Through the first nine of Clemson’s 15 practices this spring, D.J. Uiagalelei has not disappointed his head coach in his progression as the Tigers’ starting quarterback.
“He is doing great. I just like his demeanor,” Dabo Swinney said after Wednesday’s scrimmage at Death Valley. “He makes a bad play here or there, but he immediately knows his mistakes. That is what I love about him.”
Swinney’s sophomore quarterback is very self-aware of everything he does, which is what makes Uiagalelei a player the coaches really enjoy working with.
“That is very, very important to D.J.,” Swinney said. “He is incredibly competitive. He is just going to get better and better and better. That is what I love because I know he is going to put the work in before practice, during practice and then when he is away, and nobody is watching.”
It would be easy for Uiagalelei to rest on his laurels considering he is already penciled in as the Tigers’ new starter. After last year’s success against Boston College and Notre Dame, when he was forced into action after Trevor Lawrence tested positive for COVID, everyone knows Uiagalelei can get the job done.
However, what makes an athlete in any sport truly great is how they push themselves to be better and never feel as if they have arrived. As Swinney noted, Uiagalelei knows he has work to do, and he is doing everything he can to make sure that he does.
“I know that he is working and thinking about how he could be the best quarterback here at Clemson and compete to be the best out there (in college football),” the Clemson coach said. “He is passionate about this opportunity he has in life. He is just fun to come to work with every day.”
Clemson is breaking from practice for the next nine days as the University goes on spring break. The Tigers are expected to report back to the Allen Reeves Football Complex on March 21. They will return to the practice fields on March 22.
The Tigers have six practices remaining, which includes the spring game on April 3.
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