Fresh off signing a name, image and likeness deal with Bojangles, Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei joined the ACC Network during its telecast of the ACC Football Kickoff on Thursday at The Westin Charlotte for an interview with Kelsey Riggs and Wes Durham.
Riggs joked with Uiagalelei, “I thought for sure you were going to show up with some Bo-Berry Biscuits or something for us.”
“That’s probably the second time someone’s said that to me,” Uiagalelei replied, smiling. “I should’ve brought some sweet tea, should’ve brought some Bojangles. That’s on me. I’ll bring some next time.”
After making a couple of spot starts in place of Trevor Lawrence last season when he was sidelined by COVID, Uiagalelei will take the reigns as the Tigers’ full-time starter in 2021.
Uiagalelei feels the experience he gained as a true freshman in his two starts (vs. Boston College and at Notre Dame) will be very beneficial as he takes over as “the guy” this season.
“I think it was a huge advantage,” he said on ACCN. “To get to start two games, just get my feet wet, get to play against two great teams – Boston College, and get to play against Notre Dame – it was a great experience just to get out there and play. Even though we didn’t win both games, it was super cool for me to be able to be out there, get to go through a starting lineup, a whole week of preparation for being the starting quarterback. So, it was really cool.”
Uiagalelei has no shortage of weapons to work with on offense and plenty of talent surrounding him on both sides of the ball, and he is confident in his squad ahead of the 2021 campaign.
“We’re going to have a really great team,” he said. “We’re going to have a lot of firepower on the offense, great defense. We’re ready to play, so I think we’re going to have a really good season. We have a lot of great players. A lot of receivers, great offensive linemen, good running backs.”
Uiagalelei can’t wait to kick off the season in 44 days when the Tigers take on the Georgia Bulldogs in Charlotte on Sept. 4.
“We’re super excited to play Georgia,” Uiagalelei said. “Great football, great tradition there at Georgia. So, we can’t wait for that game to happen on Sept. 4. We’re really excited. We’re ready for the game.”
As for one of the biggest topics in college football of late – the potential expansion of the College Football Playoff from the current four-team model to a 12-team format – Uiagalelei doesn’t have a strong stance on it.
“I don’t know too much about it,” he said. “I don’t really have an opinion on it. I’m not sure what to do. I think it would be a great idea, though, to have 12 teams to be able to make the College Football Playoff. But it’s whatever the league wants or whatever the College Football Playoff wants, too.”