Oregon State seems to have made waves in the quarterback transfer market as Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei is expected to join the Beavers, according to an ESPN report.
Uiagalelei, a 5-star high school quarterback from Empire, California who signed with Clemson in 2020, earned his bachelor’s degree this fall. For the past few days it has been assumed that Uiagalelei will decide between OSU, Oregon and Hawaii. Assuming he signs with OSU, Uiagalelei would be the most high-profile transfer in school history.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Uiagalelei still has two years of eligibility left.
Uiagalelei was Clemson’s starting quarterback for 2,521 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. In three seasons, Uiagalelei completed 515 of 860 passes for 5,681 yards and 36 touchdowns. Uiagalelei is also a willing runner, having rushed for 913 yards and 15 touchdowns in three seasons.
Uiagalelei had an erratic 2022 season. In the ACC Championship game against North Carolina, Uiagalelei was benched after two series. Newcomer Cabe Klubnik led the Tigers to a 39-10 win. Earlier in the season, Klubnik came off the bench to help Clemson win 27-22 over Syracuse. The Tigers lost games to Notre Dame and South Carolina when Uiagalelei was ineffective. Uiagalelelei’s best performance came in September when he rushed for 371 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-45 win over Wake Forest.
The day after Clemson defeated North Carolina, Klubnik was named the Tigers’ starter for the Orange Bowl against Tennessee. The next day, Uiagalelei entered his name into the transfer portal.
When Uiagalelei decided on the transfer, she wrote on social media: “God brought me to this special place for a reason and I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything. I am very grateful and grateful to the staff, coaches and my coaches for believing in me and pushing me to do my best on and off the pitch every day.”
The former St. John Bosco High star was the nation’s No. 2 for the class of 2020 when he signed with Clemson. Making two starts as a freshman, Uiagalelei made an immediate impression as he rushed for 781 yards and four touchdowns in games against Notre Dame and Boston College.
The past week has been filled with positive news for the Oregon State football program. Last Saturday, the Beavers buried Florida 30-3 in the Las Vegas Bowl, becoming the school’s third team in school history to win 10 games. On Wednesday, OSU announced one of its best signing classes in a decade. A day later, Grant Starck, a well-known offensive lineman who was being chased by several Power 5 programs, announced that he intended to move to Oregon State.
Assuming Uiagalelei signs with Oregon State, spring training at the quarterback position is going to be a big drama. Uiagalelei will compete with returning starter Ben Gulbranson, Las Vegas Bowl Most Valuable Player. Additionally, this spring, OSU is also welcoming highly touted freshman quarterback Aidan Chiles.
Earlier this week, Uiagalelelei’s younger brother Matayo, a defensive end and one of the country’s top 20 recruits for the Class of 2023, signed with Oregon.
More on this story as details become available