Matayo Uiagalelei is one of the most sought-after recruits in the country.
The younger brother of Clemson's starting quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, is one of the top prospects in the 2023 recruiting class and already sports close to 20 offers. Before the rising junior at St. John Bosco in Bellflower, California began preparations for his high school season with the nation's third-ranked Braves, he spent the summer visiting some of the country's top college football programs.
One of his first stops of the summer was to Clemson, where he worked out at one of Dabo Swinney's high school camps. The two-way player spent the morning session working out at defensive end and the afternoon working with the tight ends and receivers while catching passes from the likes of fellow 2023 prospect Arch Manning.
"I've been to Clemson a bunch, so I already knew what to expect, just super crisp, on-point," Uiagalelei told SI All-American. "You know what you're gonna get there. You're gonna get great players, great athletes and great character from the players."
Throughout his high school career, UIagalelei has excelled at playing two positions. He's experienced tremendous success as a tight end on the offensive side of the ball and at end on the defensive side. However, he projects as a defensive end at the next level and the SI All-American candidate knows the day is coming when he will have to pick a position to focus on entirely
"I'm not sure yet, I'm gonna pick one," Uiagalelei said. "Sometimes I feel like playing both (DE and TE/WR) kind of takes away from my skill at both positions. If I just focus on D-end, I'll be a much better D-end than if I played both at the same time."
UIagalelei also spent time at Georgia and Alabama in the month of June.
Clemson Impact Player to Watch: Defensive Tackle Ruke Orhorhoro
Clemson defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro produced a team-high six tackles and recorded two for a loss in his breakout game last week against S.C. State..
Jeremiah Trotter Jr. Knew Early On Clemson Was School for Him
Freshman linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr said he knew early on in the recruiting process that Clemson was the school for him.
Clemson Tigers are Not Pressing Panic on Horizontal Game
It is not the downfield passing game that has the coaching staff looking for more production, it is the horizontal routes.
"Georgia was kind of short," he said. "I couldn't see a lot of it. But just from seeing a little bit it was good. You could tell it was a good program. Alabama, obviously they've been dominating college football for a while. It's cool to see how they put so many players in the league."
Being from California, one might assume that Uiagalelei would have made stops at multiple schools on the west coast. Although, to date, Southern Cal is the only school to have gotten a visit.
"I went to USC too, can't forget about USC," Uiagalelei said. "It's just so close, it doesn't feel like a trip. USC and a little bit of UCLA for other kids, but I feel like USC is kind of like a dream school for a lot of LA kids. I liked it there."
With the new NIL rules and Uiagalelei's well-known love of the music industry, the thought of going to Southern Cal comes with its own appeal.
"It's in LA, just the culture of USC is home," Uiagalelei said. "It's in LA. There's a lot of music out here."
As for his plans for the fall, they mostly center around focusing on his junior season at St. Bosco, but Uiagalelei said he could see himself setting up more visits, maybe even going back to some schools he's already visited.
"Nothing scheduled yet, but I'm definitely looking to go on more (visits) or go back to those same schools."
Want to join in on the discussion? 100% FREE! Interact with fellow Tiger fans and hear directly from publisher Zach Lentz, deputy editor Brad Senkiw, recruiting analyst Jason Priester and staff writer Owen Watterson on any subject. Click here to become a member of the ALL CLEMSON message board community today!