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Florida State adds familiar name in veteran quarterback: adds DJ Uiagalelei

With various programs in a holding pattern in their pursuits of quarterbacks in the transfer portal, two major dominoes fell in quick succession today. Cam Ward and DJ Uiagalelei have both been viewed as the top two quarterbacks in the transfer portal. Florida State took the opportunity to add a veteran quarterback to lead the offense in 2024. Ward announced his intention to enter the NFL Draft, and shortly after, Uiagalelei announced that after a year at Oregon State, he was returning to the ACC to lead the Seminoles offense in the 2024 season. Originally beginning his college career at Clemson, Uiagalelei transferred to Oregon State for the 2023 season as the Tigers looked to move forward with Cade Klubnik as their quarterback.

In his career, he has shown a great arm, throwing for 8,319 yards and 78 total touchdowns. He's got the athletic ability to create plays with his legs and the arm to make every throw to all areas of the field. Although he did struggle with Clemson in 2021, he did rebound in both 2022 with Clemson and 2023 with Oregon State. He shows a gunslinger mentality when he's targeting his receivers on vertical routes. With a 6'4" 250-pound build, he looks more like a linebacker playing quarterback and is tough for opposing defenders to bring down.

After the opt-outs from the Seminoles team, his addition is a welcome bit of news as it solidifies a position of need with a veteran leader to help get the younger quarterbacks ready. Throughout his time with Clemson as well as Oregon State, he has had the benefit of a solid running game. It will be no different for him with the Seminoles, as he will have the services of incoming freshman Kam Davis, as well as a returning Lawrance Toafili who will give the Seminoles a great duo after the departure of Trey Benson to the NFL Draft. The pair will allow Uiagalelei to run if needed, but not feel like he has to.

With his return to the ACC, he brings a knowledge and familiarity of the ACC Conference landscape, but one of what is needed to establish win and lead. After taking over the reins at Clemson after Trevor Lawrence, he will be able to draw upon that knowledge as he takes over an offense that was led by the top passer in the Seminoles record books and fan favorite, Jordan Travis.

For Uiagalelei, he has said that he has long been a fan of the aggressive offensive schemes that Coach Mike Norvell and his staff employ. He also said that a conversation with Jordan Travis helped to convince him. Uiagalelei noted similarities between Norvell and the FSU staff and the former Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith (who left for Michigan State) and his staff as both care about the player on and off the field. Uiagalelei also stated that he wanted to go to the Seminoles the entire time he was in the portal and that he couldn't wait to get to work with coach Norvell and the Seminoles.


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