DJ Uiagalelei traded in his oranges this offseason as he transferred from Clemson to Oregon State. It was a decision that both sides seemed to need in the end, though, as the former five-star never fully lived up to the expectations.
Still, that doesn’t seem to be what necessarily drove him out of Death Valley and out to Corvallis. From what Uiagalelei said during an interview with The Athletic, he said it had much more to do with what Clemson’s offense didn’t do in comparison to what he thinks he can do within the Beaver’s system.
“I didn’t want to do what I was doing at Clemson. I didn’t really like what we did there scheme-wise,” Uiagalelei said. “It was very basic. It didn’t help me out as a quarterback and play to my strengths. I wanted to go somewhere that would play to my strengths and go somewhere that would develop me for the NFL. Play-action, work under center, throwing the ball deep.”
“This has been definitely different. The scheme is totally different than what we were doing at Clemson. I feel like it’s a lot better,” said Uiagalelei. “It’s just new stuff. I wasn’t doing any of these run-checks at the line; I wasn’t really under center. It’s a lot more plays. All of these different play-action plays; these different two-man routes, three-man routes. All the stuff that I wanted to do at Clemson but we weren’t doing. It’s exciting. I’m just taking it day-by-day.”
Those are quite the eye-opening statements from Uiagalelei about the Tiger offense. Even so, it seems both sides have done what they needed to do to correct their concerns.
For Uiagalelei, it was his transfer to Oregon State. That’s where he says he feels he can best develop after throwing for 4,767 yards on a 58.9% completion rate and accounting for 42 touchdowns over the last two seasons. For Clemson, it was the passing of the torch to Cade Klubnik while also making one of the most high-profile hires of the offseason with Garrett Riley coming in as their new offensive coordinator.
Again, this breakup was likely best for both parties involved. With that said, while these words may not have been intended to be condemning towards his previous program, Uiagalelei made it clear that his departure was more so about what Clemson didn’t do for him in the end.