Now it is D.J. Uiagalelei’s time to shine.
Though he is just a sophomore, Uiagalelei has to step as a leader, not just for the team, but for the quarterbacks as much as any other group. With Taisun Phommachanh still officially out with a torn Achilles tendon, Uiagalelei has to be the leader for the three freshmen who just got on campus.
Bubba Chandler, Will Taylor and Billy Wiles reported to Clemson this week for summer workouts.
“D.J. has to have a great summer from a leadership standpoint and really help us develop these guys,” Clemson head coach Swinney said after the Spring Game in April. “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 what Swinney said was a good spring for the sophomore by completing 20 of 28 passes 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.”
And even fine tuning a few things if he has to, as well.
“I’m looking at all the plays from this spring and going back and looking at everything from the spring game,” Uiagalelei 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.”
Uiagalelei will get his opportunity to show how much he has improved when the Tigers play Georgia in the season opener on Sept. 4 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
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