NCAA

Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei Can Pursue A Baseball Career if Football Doesn’t Pan Out

With Clemson’s star quarterback Trevor Lawrence missing another game due to COVID-19, freshman phenom D.J. Uiagalelei will make another start against Notre Dame. Coming out of high school, Uiagalelei was a top high school prospect.

Now at Clemson, he’s set to become the next star quarterback when Lawrence leaves. But one thing people may not know about Uiagalelei is that he was a standout baseball player.

Everyone in high school knew about D.J. Uiagalelei

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Uiagalelei had a career to remember during his time at St. John Bosco High School; he developed into a star. As a sophomore, he took over midseason as the starting quarterback. He was a regular feature on the Netflix series ‘QB1: Beyond the Lights.’ Though he wasn’t one of the players highlighted throughout the series, he became a notable person as he became the starting quarterback.

After his sophomore year, there was no question that he would be the starting quarterback for the next two years. As a junior, Uiagalelei continued to grow into a leader on the field. He led St. John Bosco to a 13-1 record and threw for 3,366 yards with 48 touchdowns. Uiagalelei possessed the skills to play at the next level at a young age, and he always put the work in. 

During his senior year, Uiagalelei finished his career on top. Rivals.com rated him the No. 2 overall player in the nation, and he was the top player in California. He led St. John Bosco to a No. 1 ranking by MaxPreps and USA Today. St. John Bosco won the 7A state championship game defeating Mater Dei. Uiagalelei was named the National Offensive Player of the Year, and for his career, he threw for 10,496 yards with 127 touchdowns.

In his freshman year, Uiagalelei has gained a lot of experience

The true freshman has appeared in multiple games this season for Clemson. He made his college debut against Wake Forest and completed 2-of-3 passes, and rushed once for 16 yards. His first start came against Boston College, and during that game, he completed 30-of-41 passes for 342 yards and two passing touchdowns. He also had six rushes for 25 yards with a rushing touchdown. 

During the game against Boston College, Uiagalelei led Clemson to the largest comeback in Memorial Stadium history, which was 18 points. He also joined Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence as the only true freshman in Clemson history to win their starting debut. Uiagalelei has thrown for 444 yards and two touchdowns through six games and has rushed for 57 yards and three touchdowns.

D.J. Uiagalelei was a top baseball prospect in high school

Not only was Uiagalelei a standout on the football field, but he was also a star on the baseball diamond. He possessed a 95 miles per hour fastball on the diamond and was projected by many to be a top pick in the MLB draft. In an article from Bleacher Report in 2019, Uiagalelei expressed his interest in both football and baseball. 

“I want to play both sports in college,” Uiagalelei said. “I really would like to play football and baseball as long as I can. If I get lucky enough to be able to play Major League Baseball or in the NFL, that would be a blessing.” Now that he’s at Clemson, Uiagalelei addressed the question of if he would play baseball or not. 

“Most likely I won’t play baseball,” Uiagalelei said in an article from 247 Sports. “It’s always a thought in my head. It’s an option, but most likely I’m just playing football.” Things could change for Uiagalelei during his time at Clemson, and we could possibly see him on the baseball field if he changes his mind. With the talent he has, he can easily pursue a baseball career.