FSU Football QB DJ Uiagalelei Shows Why The Culture Remains Strong In Tallahassee

The standard and culture in Tallahassee appear to be stronger than ever ahead of the 2024 season.
Apr 20, 2024; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (4) during the Spring Showcase at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 20, 2024; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (4) during the Spring Showcase at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports / Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

There was a lot of chatter about Florida State's culture throughout the offseason after the majority of the program's starters opted out of the Orange Bowl following an unrighteous College Football Playoff snub. The Seminoles were pinned as a laughingstock while being constantly jeered by rivals such as Miami and Florida, which combined for one less win (12) as the team (13) in 2023.

With that being said, the standard and growing bonds in Tallahassee appear to be stronger than ever with head coach Mike Norvell assimilating 40 fresh faces (23 high school signees, 17 transfers) into his program. There's no better evidence than how Florida State's likely new starting quarterback is operating ahead of the ACC Kickoff later this month.

On Tuesday, DJ Uiagalelei released a statement on social media where he announced that he has declined to attend the event so his teammates who wore garnet and gold last year can be highlighted in Charlotte. It's an extremely selfless move from a player who is going into his final season at the college level.

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"I was honored to be invited by the conference to represent Florida State at this year's ACC Kickoff. The experience of attending that event in 2021 and 2022 is among the highlights of my time in college, and I appreciate being viewed as one of the conference's top players heading into this season. However, I feel strongly that Florida State should be represented by players who were part of last year's ACC Championship team. The players who helped put this program back on top of the ACC should have the opportunity to be recognized for their contributions. This team is more than its quarterback, and I'm excited for my teammates who will experience this fantastic event."

While Uiagalelei hasn't been publicly named Florida State's starting quarterback, he's acting as a team leader in the weeks prior to the season-opener against Georgia Tech in Ireland. Uiagalelei recently held a throwing session with multiple Seminoles in California. This is another move that should earn him respect in the eyes of his teammates.

Uiagalelei native is coming off a career year with Oregon State, He completed 57.1% of his passes for 2,638 yards with 21 touchdowns to seven interceptions while also rushing for six scores. Uiagalelei averaged 8.7 yards per attempt despite throwing fewer passes than in his two years when he started at Clemson. During his time with the Beavers and Tigers, he's completed 695/1176 passes (59.1%) for 8,319 yards with 57 touchdowns to 24 interceptions. Uiagalelei has also rushed 343 times for 1,132 yards with 21 more scores on the ground.

This would've been his third appearance at the ACC Kickoff. He represented Clemson at the event in 2021 and 2022.

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Dustin Lewis


Lewis joined NoleGameday in 2016 and is currently in the role of Editor-In-Chief. A graduate of Florida State, Lewis contributes to football, recruiting, and basketball coverage. Connect with Dustin on Twitter at @DustinLewisNG.