Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was asked about the decision to pull starting quarterback Uiagalelei during a game against Florida State last week. His response shows an uncharacteristic lack of confidence in his team, and sets up Clemson for one of their biggest challenges as they look forward
Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney’s take on D.J. Uiagalelei should put ACC on notice. Read more in detail here: clemson football.
D.J. Uiagalelei enjoys the support of Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney moving into the 2022 season, after a tumultuous 2021 season in which he was the starting quarterback for the first time.
Clemson started the 2021 season as a significant candidate to win the ACC and earn a berth in the College Football Playoff. In the end, the Tigers failed to accomplish both of these goals, as sophomore quarterback Uiagalelei struggled throughout the season. From his 2,246 passing yards in 13 games to the fact that he had more interceptions (10) than passing touchdowns (9) throughout the season, he fell short of the lofty expectations that had been put on him before to the season.
Months after Clemson’s season ended, Swinney looks back on Uiagalelei’s first season as the Tigers’ starting quarterback as one loaded with lots of learning experiences across the board, as he discussed at the team’s Spring practice.
Swinney added, “D.J. looks fantastic.” “First and foremost, I’m extremely pleased of how he ended and led. He’d be the first to admit that he has a lot of things he needs to work on in order to improve.
“I’ve never had a young quarterback who wasn’t prone to making errors… We weren’t nearly as good around DJ as we were around those other two fellas [Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence]. They made a lot of blunders, I swear… The good news is that I believe what DJ went through last year expedited all of the other aspects of becoming a great quarterback: his mental toughness, leadership, tenacity, and thick skin.”
Uiagalelei is now slated for a key 2022 season, and Swinney believes the best is yet to come for the passer. However, the former national championship-winning head coach of the College Football Playoff realizes that Uiagalelei has a long way to go in his third season with the Clemson Tigers.
“I believe he’s going to have a tremendous year, I truly do,” Swinney said, “but the first thing he has to do is get better.” “I can critique him on some of the things he has to work on, but we have to improve around him, and we will.”
“He needed to improve on last year’s achievements. He has eight and a half sacks, with the bulk of them coming in the first half of the season. Holding the ball but not properly controlling the pocket. “There are certain basics and some technological issues.”
Uiagalelei had to cope with a knee ailment throughout the season, but he didn’t miss a single game for the Tigers. “Eventually in the off-season I’ll become more healthy and get 100 percent,” he said before of Clemson’s 2021 Cheez-It Bowl matchup against Iowa State.
Uiagalelei has a key 2022 season ahead of him, and he might face competition from 2022 recruit and freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik. On Wednesday, at Clemson’s Spring practice, he took his first snaps. It’s unclear if Swinney intends to start Uiageleli as Clemson’s starting quarterback in the first week of the 2022 season, or whether Klubnik will have a chance to earn the position sooner.
The “clemson football coach” is one of the most influential people in college football. Dabo Swinney has a lot to say about D.J. Uiagalelei and his impact on the ACC.
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