Oregon State appears to be making a splash in the quarterback transfer market, as Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei is expected to stick with the Beavers, ESPN reports.
Uiagalelei, a 5-star high school quarterback from Empire, California who signed with Clemson in 2020, earned his BA this fall. In recent days, it was believed that Uiagalelei was choosing between OSU, Oregon, and Hawaii. Provided he signs with OSU, Uiagalelei will be the highest profile transfer in school history. The Oregonian/Oregon Life confirmed the news.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Uiagalelei has two years of eligibility remaining.
Uiagalelei passed for 2,521 yards and 22 touchdowns this season as Clemson’s captain. Over three seasons, Uiagalelei completed 515 of 860 passes for 5,681 yards and 36 touchdowns. Uiagalelei is a willing runner as well, rushing for 913 yards and 15 touchdowns over three seasons.
Uiagalelei had an irregular 2022 season. In the ACC Championship Game against North Carolina, Uiagalelei was benched after two series. Freshman Cabe Klubnik led the Tigers to a 39-10 win. Earlier in the season, Klopnik came off the bench to rally Clemson to a 27-22 victory over Syracuse. The Tigers lost games to Notre Dame and South Carolina when Uiagalelei was ineffective. Uiagalelei’s best performance came in September, when he passed for 371 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-45 win over Wake Forest.
The day after Clemson’s victory over North Carolina, Klopnik was named the Tigers’ starter for the Orange Bowl against Tennessee. The next day, Uiagalelei put his name in the transfer gate.
On making the transfer decision, Uiagalelei wrote on social media that “God brought me to this special place for a reason and I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything. I am so grateful and appreciative to the staff, coaches and coaches for believing in me and pushing me every day to be the best I can be on and off the field.”
Former St. John’s High star Bosco was the runner-up in the nation in the class of 2020 when he signed with Clemson. In two starts as a true freshman, Uiagalelei made an immediate impression, passing for 781 yards and four touchdowns in games against Notre Dame and Boston College.
This past week was loaded with positive news for the Oregon State football program. Last Saturday, the Beavers buried Florida 30-3 in the Las Vegas Bowl to become the school’s third team in school history to win 10 games. On Wednesday, The Ohio State University announced one of its best signing classes in a decade. A day later, Grant Stark, an offensive lineman who had been hounded by several Power 5 programs, announced that he intended to transfer to Oregon State.
Uiagalelei marks with Oregon State, and made spring practice numbers to become high drama at the quarterback position. Uiagalelei will be in competition with star returning Ben Gulbranson, the most valuable player in the Las Vegas Bowl. In addition, OSU also welcomes freshman quarterback Aidan Chiles this spring.
Earlier this week, Uiagalelei’s younger brother Matayo, who is a defensive end and one of the top 20 recruits in the country for the class of 2023, signed with Oregon State.
More on this story when details become available
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