One of the more controversial returning top quarterbacks in the nation, Clemson Tigers junior DJ Uiagalelei has been installed as the starting signal caller once again for the perennial ACC Championship favorites preseason.
The five-star prospect from legendary St. John Bosco HS in Southern California threw for just 208-374 for 2246 yards last season, scoring nine touchdowns with 10 interceptions. For a team that annually has one of the best defenses in college football, the discussion around whether the issues for the offense last year were Uiagalelei or his offensive line and supporting cast have continued all offseason long.
He’ll begin to get to answer them against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Week 1 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
DJ Uiagalelei Heisman Trophy odds
Odds entering this week: +3500
While the narrative of a player choosing to stay put in the Portal Era and stick it out through tough times will certainly have appeal to plenty of Heisman voters, the Tigers simply have to win games and score points for Uiagalelei to even have a chance of reaching New York City.
The Tigers defense likely remains the better side of the ball, and the chances for the ACC team to crack into the College Football Playoff are dead with two losses, and on life support with just one. That won’t be an issue against the 24-point underdog Ramblin’ Wreck on Monday night, but getting off to a good start with a national audience watching the only game on the board certainly wouldn’t hurt either.
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