DJ Uiagalelei is your starting quarterback of the Clemson Tigers.
The former 5-star recruit is undoubtedly being pushed by freshman phenom Cade Klubnik. However, while some may think this is like 2018 when Trevor Lawrence came in behind Kelly Bryant, this isn’t that.
The sky is the limit for Klubnik, no question about it, but Lawrence would have likely been taken with the top pick in the NFL Draft coming out of high school, had he been eligible. There’s only one Trevor Lawrence.
Not to mention, we have head coach Dabo Swinney’s word that Uiagalelei is the guy, for now, and going forward.
“DJ is definitely our starter,” Swinney said after the spring game. “He has had a great spring. He has not done anything to not be the starter.”
Now that we have established that it’s not 2018, don’t expect the two quarterbacks to be splitting snaps the way we saw in that infamous season, when Bryant entered the portal after the fourth game.
Can Klubnik eventually unseat Uiagalelei? Absolutely. Just don’t expect that to happen before the start of the season. Think 2014, and Cole Stoudt and Deshaun Watson.
Watson would wind up winning the job after the first three games of the season, and after it was abundantly clear that he was ready. He won it on the field, on the road, against the No. 1 team in the country, Florida State.
Swinney has made it clear in the past that for a starting quarterback to lose his job, the competition can’t be close. It’s got to be a knockout blow, so to speak.
While Klubnik may not be splitting reps with Uiagalelei when the season starts, he will have opportunities. Just like Watson had them. However, this will all come down to Uiagalelei. While Klubnik likely can’t win it, the incumbent can absolutely lose it.
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