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'This team is more than its quarterback' - DJ Uiagalelei declines to appear at ACC Kickoff

XN5fvSCv_400x400by:Tom Lang07/09/24

Though Florida State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has been to the ACC Kickoff twice before for preseason interviews — during his time as Clemson’s starting signal caller — he has passed on attending the 2024 event.

Uiagalelei made the announcement via a statement on his personal social media accounts Tuesday afternoon.

“The experience of attending that event in 2021 and 2022 is among the highlights of my time in college, and I appreciate being viewed as one of the conference’s top players heading into this season,” Uiagalelei wrote. “However, I feel strongly that Florida State should be represented by players who were part of last year’s ACC Championship team. The players who helped put this program back on top of the ACC should have the opportunity to be recognized for their contributions.

“This team is more than its quarterback, and I’m excited for my teammates who will experience this fantastic event.”

In addition to head coach Mike Norvell, the Seminoles will send three player representatives to ACC Kickoff for their media day on Monday, July 22. An announcement on which players will make the trip is expected in the coming days.

Though Uiagalelei was likely to field numerous questions about his time at Clemson and playing against his former team this upcoming October, the former five-star recruit arrived at Florida State by way of a one-year stint in the PAC-12.

Uiagalelei threw for 2,638 yards and 21 touchdowns against seven interceptions last season at Oregon State. He also accounted for eight rushing touchdowns as a Beaver.

According to a Florida State spokesperson, Uiagalelei’s absence in Charlotte does not signal a closed-off relationship with the media in 2024. He will speak to the press during FSU’s upcoming fall camp, which is expected to begin shortly after the conference media event.

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