Clemson's Uiagalelei Will Show What He's Learned From Lawrence

Travis Boland

Clemson true freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was complimentary of starter Trevor Lawrence after playing in his first game against Wake Forest.

"Trevor is the best quarterback in college football, for me to be able to learn under him and see the things he does on and off the field, I just try to take notes and pick his brain to see what makes him great," Uiagalelei said in an interview on Sept. 14.

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Clemson quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence (16) and D.J. Uiagalelei watch from the sideline against The Citadel. (© Ken Ruinard via Imagn Content Services, LLC)

He will get the chance to prove what he has learned from Lawrence after being named the starter against Boston College Saturday. Uiagalelei ascended to the top of the depth chart after it was announced Thursday Lawrence had tested positive for the Coronavirus.

The news came after it was announced earlier in the week that Wisconsin starting quarterback Graham Mertz had been diagnosed with the virus. Wisconsin also had another QB diagnosed before finally calling its game against Nebraska this Saturday.

Lawrence said Tuesday in an interview with the media that Clemson does a good job of social distancing between its players not allowing for the virus to spread.

"We're six feet apart in our meeting rooms with masks and are not in close contact," Lawrence said. "So we couldn't transmit the virus. You can't control it, obviously, there's some situations where guys get it but you don't know how they get it. You just try to be safe as possible."

Uiagalelei has appeared in five of the Tigers six games this season. He's completed 12-of-19 passes for 102 yards and rushed for 32 yards and two touchdowns. After the Wake Forest game, Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott was asked what separated Uiagalelei from redshirt freshman Taisun Phommachanh.

"D.J. had a really good camp, and has really come into his own in terms of handling the offense," Elliott said. "He does a really good job in understanding what we want to get accomplished from a protection standpoint. Big arm talent."

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney held Uiagalelei out against Georgia Tech due to what he called a sore shoulder. Third-string quarterback Phommachanh left the game against Tech due to a broken bone in his non-throwing hand. He had surgery the following Sunday and was back practicing prior to the Tigers game against Syracuse. 

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