Former Clemson Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei Calls Tiger Offense "Very Basic," Says "I Didn't Really Like" the Scheme at Clemson

By Griffin Strom on April 24, 2023 at 3:34 pm
DJ Uiagalelei

Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei had some parting shots for his old school in a recent interview with The Athletic's Bruce Feldman.

The former Clemson quarterback, who transferred out of the program just two days after its ACC Championship win in December, said he didn't particularly enjoy running the Tiger offense in South Carolina. The five-star 2020 recruit was the successor to Trevor Lawrence under center at Clemson, but struggled as the program's full-time starter in 2021 and was even benched in favor of backup Cade Klubnik at times this past year.

“I didn’t want to do what I was doing at Clemson. I didn’t really like what we did there scheme-wise,” Uiagalelei said. “It was very basic. It didn’t help me out as a quarterback and play to my strengths. I wanted to go somewhere that would play to my strengths and go somewhere that would develop me for the NFL. Play-action, work under center, throwing the ball deep.”

Uiagalelei started 28 games at Clemson, going 22–6 and throwing for 5,681 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. At Oregon State, Uiagalelei said the offense is "totally different" and one that he believes will better prepare him for the next level.

“This has been definitely different. The scheme is totally different than what we were doing at Clemson. I feel like it’s a lot better,” said Uiagalelei. “It’s just new stuff. I wasn’t doing any of these run-checks at the line; I wasn’t really under center. It’s a lot more plays. All of these different play-action plays; these different two-man routes, three-man routes. All the stuff that I wanted to do at Clemson but we weren’t doing. It’s exciting. I’m just taking it day-by-day.”

Clemson went 10-3 this past season and won the ACC but failed to reach the College Football Playoff for the second consecutive season. Oregon State also held a 10-3 record in 2022, notching its best win percentage since 2000 and closing the year with a win over Florida in the Las Vegas Bowl.

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