Clemson OC Tony Elliott Sees Tajh Boyd in D.J. Uiagalelei

Christopher Hall

Last week, Tiger fans learned that Clemson true freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei  won the backup quarterback position for Clemson to begin the 2020 season. 

While there's still a long way to go, that separation perhaps began to reveal itself in the Tigers' 49-0 win over The Citadel. 

Collectively, the Tiger offense produced 405 yards of total offense doing all of the damage on the scoreboard in the opening half of play. While it was a respectable day at the office for Clemson's top two signal-callers, things weren't as shiny for Taisun Phommachanh and walk-on Hunter Helms. 

Uiagalelei showed off a little of his running power on a pair of touchdowns runs including his first-career score on a six-yard keeper in the second quarter. 

Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said his freshman quarterback is a natural threat in short-yardage or goal-line situations due to his 6-4, 250-pound frame.  

"Pleased with D.J. He got in there and was able to put together some scoring drives," Elliott said. "It was a little bit tougher situation with Taisun. He had some different personnel that he was working with so really won't know until you evaluate the tape so you can see all the details." 

Elliott said it was good to get reps in for Uiagalelei and see him in live-action running the ball as quarterbacks are always more protected during practice. He said the newcomer reminds him of former Clemson QB Tajh Boyd.

"I think naturally (he is a threat) because of his size but he was able to show it in live situations," Elliott said. Obviously, in practice, he wears the purple jersey and we're not able to put him in those tough situations.

"D.J. is very reminiscent of Tajh. He's the closest to that style of runner that we've had in the last several years. So it's going to be fun, down the stretch, and years to come to design some stuff and get back to our roots of that quarterback running." 

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