Uiagalelei: ‘I want to be the best in the country’

Uiagalelei: ‘I want to be the best in the country’

Football

Uiagalelei: ‘I want to be the best in the country’

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D.J. Uiagalelei began his off-season plan to lead the Clemson football team on Sunday.

The Tigers’ new starting quarterback is not one to lay around and wait to get things started. He wants to get to work immediately as Clemson now gets set for its season opener against Georgia on Sept. 4 in Charlotte.

“Just have to get faster, stronger, looking at all the plays from this spring and going back and looking at everything from the spring game,” he said. “I am going to look at every rep and fine tune it. I am just going to really dive into it and make sure I am not missing anything.”

Though he is just a sophomore, Uiagalelei is also going to have to be a leader, not just for the team overall, but especially for the quarterbacks. With Taisun Phommachanh officially out with a torn Achilles tendon, Uiagalelei will have to step up and be more of a leader for the three freshmen when they get on campus.

Bubba Chandler, Will Taylor and Billy Wiles are all supposed to be on campus this summer.

“D.J. has to have a great summer from a leadership standpoint and really help us develop these guys,” Swinney said. “A lot of times we can’t be out there with those guys during summer school, so we are counting on D.J. to help lead that way as well.”

Uiagalelei finished the afternoon 20-for-28 for 174 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Beaux Collins in the first quarter.

“I just want to continue to get better,” Uiagalelei said. “I want to get better in everything. There is just not one specific thing. I feel like there are a lot of areas I can get better at and as a competitor, you always want to get better at each and everything.

“I want to be the best out there for my team. I want to be the best in the country. I feel like I will go into this off-season and really work at everything, every single part of my game … running, throwing, lifting weights, getting stronger and faster.”

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