Clemson Ushers in New Era at Quarterback With D.J. Uiagalelei

With Trevor Lawrence now heading off to the NFL, the D.J. Uiagalelei era is set officially begin this spring at Clemson.
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The Trevor Lawrence era in Clemson is now officially over. 

With spring practice now underway for the Tigers, the reins have officially been passed to second-year quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei.

Dabo Swinney met with the media ahead of Wednesday's first practice of the spring and it was readily apparent how excited the Clemson head coach is about watching the transition his team is about to go through at the quarterback position.

"I'm super excited you know and how can you not be," Swinney said. "You got a sneak preview to what this kid can do. Man I mean, unbelievable what he did last year. I mean, Boston College, he found out on a Wednesday night or Thursday that, 'Hey you're gonna be the starter.'"

"Then when he got his opportunity, man he was unbelievable. I mean, and then to go to Notre Dame for your first (road) start and throw for more yards than any quarterback in history against Notre Dame. So I think we all got a lot to look forward to in that young man."

Swinney has always been a firm believer in the fact that being prepared should be one of the top priorities for a quarterback and he said that outside of having all the physical tools, Uiagalelei has been preparing for this moment since the moment he arrived on campus.

"Seeing his work ethic and his love of preparation is super exciting. Obviously his talent, his skills, his size, all that's just special and unique. But to see how smart he is and to see how he loves to prepare and how he just loved working with Trevor, and watching and learning from Trevor it was just awesome to watch that."

While there are no questions surrounding who will be the starting quarterback for Clemson next season, there are some questions as to who will be the backup. Swinney said they are hopeful that Taisun Phommachanh will step up and seize the opportunity this spring.

"I'm also excited about Taisun," Swinney said. "Man, he made a lot of strides for us last year, but now, stepping into this next role, I want to see him go compete. He's the guy that we've got to get to another level this spring. He's one of those guys that is functional but I really want that, I want that confidence to be there. That he can go win the game, and go win the championship. He's got to be ready to have that mindset. I just think there's a whole other level we can get to with Taisun."