DJ Uiagalelei met with Oregon State media this week for the first time since transferring from Clemson.
The graduate transfer quarterback, who spent the last three seasons playing for the Tigers, took reporters through the process of how he ultimately chose to take his talents to Corvallis and suit up for the Beavers.
Uiagalelei officially entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal back on Dec. 5, and then on Christmas Eve, he announced that he would be heading to Oregon State.
“Going through the process, it was one of the top schools I wanted to come to. It’s the school I wanted to be at, going through it,” Uiagalelei explained, via BeaverBlitzVideo. “And for a little bit, I didn’t know if that was going to be the case. I reached out in the beginning when I put my name in the portal, I reached out and didn’t hear nothing back for like two weeks, and after them two weeks, got in contact with the old running back coach, Coach Stew (AJ Steward), and then he ended up getting me in contact with Coach Lindgren (offensive quarterback/quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren) and Coach Smith (head coach Jonathan Smith). So, that’s how that all came (together).
“And for me, I felt like this was the right place for me, where I wanted to grow as a quarterback and was going to excel me to the next level and was going to prepare me for what I wanted to do playing quarterback. It was a pro-style offense, and everything that I was looking for. I wanted to go somewhere that was going to maximize my potential, maximize my strengths as a quarterback, and I felt like Oregon State was the right place to go. So, I appreciate them.”
At the end of the day, it was “a business decision” for Uiagalelei when deciding on his new college home.
“For me, I didn’t really need to see the place,” he said. “For me, I’ve been in college for three years. I didn’t really care about what the campus looks like or wherever the certain campus I went to, what’s the surrounding or if there’s a lot of people there, if there’s a little bit of people.
“For me, it’s kind of like a business decision. I wanted to go somewhere that was going to put me in the best position to put my best foot forward, and I felt like that was the right place. For me, the biggest thing I wanted to talk about scheme, the coaches and what was their plan to use me and how they were going to make me a better quarterback and how they were going to push me to be the best quarterback I can be.”
Uiagalelei has two years of eligibility remaining.
At Clemson as a junior in 2022, Uiagalelei completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 2,521 yards and 22 touchdowns with seven interceptions while also rushing for 545 yards and seven more scores. He started the first 13 games for the Tigers last season, including the ACC Championship Game against North Carolina, but lost his starting job in that game after being replaced by Cade Klubnik.
A former five-star prospect from California, Uiagalelei completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 5,681 yards and 36 touchdowns with 17 interceptions in 36 games (28 starts) for the Tigers from 2020-22. He also recorded 275 career carries for 913 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.
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