Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei got some high praise from ESPN college football analyst Trevor Matich.
Matich on Friday’s College Football Live went on record predicting that the Clemson quarterback would win the Tigers first ever Heisman Trophy this coming season.
“Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei wins the Heisman Trophy,” Matich said. “When Trevor Lawrence missed the Notre Dame game, Uiagalelei threw for over 400 yards against the Irish without enough experience to even know what opportunities he missed. His receivers will be better next year.”
Many have heard these types of things before though. Some expected Deshaun Watson to win it during his time at Clemson and others thought Trever Lawrence would be the schools first winner of the trophy.
For this reason alone many Clemson fans are a little more hesitant to believe that there’s ever going to be any Tiger to walk away with that hardware.
Uiagalelei does have the talent to be one of, if not, the best quarterback to play for the Tigers and the coaches know it. Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, after the Boston College win, went as far as comparing him to not only former Tiger QB Deshaun Watson but also another great NFL quarterback.
“Like Watson with that quiet confidence. Never rattled, ice water in his veins,” Elliott said. “A little (Patrick) Mahomes in him because he can make throws off his back foot, off-balance, can change arm angles. Rifle arm like Trevor. The more we put on his plate, he’s never been overwhelmed.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney believes that Uiagalelei is only going to get better and he made that clear to media a while back.
“I mean, he’s special,” Swinney said. “Are you kidding me? You watch this guy play, he’s going to be awesome. That was a big challenge for him (against Notre Dame) for sure, but he made some incredible plays. He never wavered, never flinched. Made some big, big throws. Couple of nice throws. I’m super proud of him. He’s just going to get better.”
When you look at the two games that Uiagalelei started this season it’s easy to see why Swinney would feel the way he does. In those games he went 30-41 for 342 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-28 win against Boston College then went 29-44 for 439 and two touchdowns in Clemson’s double overtime loss at Notre Dame.
It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that Matich, Elliott, and Swinney are right. Whether fans believe it or not, you can best bet and that Uiagalelei wants to be the first player from Clemson University to win the coveted trophy.
It’s the sports most prestigious award and every player wants to win it. Not to mention it’s the only award missing from the schools trophy case.