D.J. Uiagalelei is headed back to the West Coast after three seasons at Clemson.
The former five-star recruit is expected to commit to Oregon State after entering the transfer portal, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel. An announcement is reportedly expected in the next few days.
Uiagalelei entered the portal earlier this month after getting pulled for fellow blue-chip QB recruit Cade Klubnik in the ACC championship game. After a stellar performance by Klubnik against UNC, the true freshman appears to be the future under center at Clemson, leaving Uiagalelei looking elsewhere for playing time.
At Oregon State, Uiagalelei will join a program coming off its best season in more than a decade. In their fifth season under head coach Jonathan Smith, the Beavers went 10-3, their first season with double-digit wins since 2006.
As for the program’s future at quarterback, Uiagalelei’s transfer says plenty about its murkiness. Chance Nolan was the starter at the beginning of the season, but an injury opened the door for freshman Ben Gulbranson to take over.
Gulbranson went 7-1 as the starter, though his total statistics didn’t exactly scream emerging star: 1,455 passing yards, a 62.1 completion percentage, nine touchdowns, five interceptions and 7.5 yards per pass attempt. The only other quarterbacks expected to return next year were three-star freshmen Travis Throckmorton and Dom Montiel, plus four-star recruit Aidan Chiles.
Uiagalelei, a California native, gives Oregon State a quarterback with a ceiling not often seen in Corvallis, though his distance from that ceiling is why he’s headed out of Clemson. After a promising freshman season backing up Trevor Lawrence, Uiagalelei has struggled to look like the future NFL player many expected when he first joined Dabo Swinney’s program.
D.J. Uiagalelei’s brother just committed to Oregon
Should Uiagalelei indeed start for Oregon State next season, that year’s Civil War will literally be brother against brother.
Uiagalelei’s brother, five-star defensive end recruit Matayo Uiagalelei, committed to Oregon just two days ago after a lengthy recruiting battle. It’s unclear if the chance to sack his brother helped or hurt the Ducks, but it’s definitely a possibility now.
The arrival of Uiagalelei also gives the Pac-12 another big-name quarterback, along with USC’s Caleb Williams, Oregon’s Bo Nix, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., UCLA’s Dante Moore, Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders and Washington State’s Cameron Ward.