With fall camp less than a week away, much of the talk centers around DJ Uiagalelei and the quarterback position.
After looking the part of a 5-star quarterback during his freshman season, Uiagalelei looked like anything but in 2021, his first season as Clemson’s full-time starter.
It was not the season anyone anticipated for the quarterback. Uiagalelei himself has been pretty open about not playing up to his own expectations.
The talent is there, as noted by ESPN analyst David Pollack on a recent episode of College Football Live.
“I think DJ, you can see the talent, man,” Pollack said. “The dude can throw it through a car wash and not get it wet. He’s big, he’s strong.”
That talent at some point has to translate into success on the field and Pollack isn’t convinced that will happen, in part due to the fact that he isn’t impressed by what Clemson has along the offensive line.
“But I think with his reads, Brandon Streeter’s going to have a tall task on his hands,” Streeter said. “Because I don’t know that they’re going to be that much better up front where you’re going to consistently run the football. But I think when they ran him more throughout the season last year, he became better, and I think he’s a better quarterback because he has that ability. But I think he’s going to get pushed, I think he’s going to get challenged.”
In fact, with freshman Cade Klubnik waiting in the wings, Pollack thinks this situation could play out similar to what we saw in 2018, when Trevor Lawrence needed just four games to beat out incumbent Kelly Bryant.
“A couple years ago, remember, it wasn’t that long ago when Dabo Swinney was making hard decisions about Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence and that decision to make the switch, and then end up winning a national championship because of it,” Pollack said. “So, I’ll be interested to see how short the leash is with D.J. I think he’s got a lot of promise, but he’s definitely got to get better with his eyes, trust his line more, and I think he’ll have to run the football a lot.”
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