There is a transition taking place at the most important position on the field this spring for the Clemson football team.
Trevor Lawrence is getting ready to start his professional career, meaning this is now D.J. Uiagalelei's offense. That also means taking on a larger responsibility from a leadership standpoint and the second-year quarterback knows exactly what kind of leader he is going to be.
"I want to just be a lead by example type of guy, be vocal when I need to be," Uiagalelei said. "I want to be able to lead by example. I want to be on the field, I'll be vocal but I just want to be able to lead by example, just show by my play, let my play do the talking."
The second-year quarterback, who had 914 passing yards and five touchdowns in 2020, said having the luxury of sitting and learning for a season behind Lawrence taught him a lot about how to be a good leader.
"I talked to Trevor about a lot of stuff," Uiagalelei said. "Just sitting back and observing, we get to see a lot of stuff from your own perspective. I mean, as a quarterback I get to see a lot of different perspectives and Trevor goes through day to day and just different stuff on the field. So I definitely got to pick his brain and just observe. I took a lot of mental notes and kept asking different questions."
Uiagalelei said that while he wants to let his play do the talking for him, he also knows being the starting quarterback means there will be times when he has to assert himself. At the same time, he said there's a fine-line he knows he has to walk as one of the leaders of this football team.
"You have to be playing quarterback," Uiagalelei said. "You don't want to do that, especially with a receiver or offensive linemen. You don't want to get after them, they're working their butts off you know, working their butts off for you so you don't want to go out there and yell at them for dropping the ball and stuff like that. So I feel like I take a little bit more different approach to it. I kind of just talked to them and different stuff like that but if they're doing the wrong thing I need to get after them."