Top-50 recruit and the 2020 class’s top pro-style pocket passer D.J. Uiagalelei chose the Clemson Tigers over Oregon and Mt. San Antonio College, according to ESPN, because his “faith is important” to him, and “they’re all big Christians” at Clemson.
“My faith is important to me,” stated D.J. Uiagalelei as reported by ESPN, “and the first time I went out there was in June, and that’s what sold me, knowing they’re all big Christians. I didn’t commit when I was out there, but that’s when I told myself that’s where I wanted to be.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, known for his Christian faith as outlined in a piece on the Fellowship of Christian Athlete magazine online, has repeatedly acknowledged God following College Football Playoff National Championships, Swinney saying in 2017, “only God can do this,” and again giving “All the credit, all the glory … to the good Lord,” following Clemson’s win over Alabama in 2019. Swinney, following a top-10 victory over Notre Dame in 2015, also acknowledged God – an interview ESPN “inadvertently” cut away from during the post-game interview with the Clemson head coach after he thanked “the good Lord.”
“The choice came down to Clemson and Oregon,” for the Bellflower, California St. John Bosco high school student, but Mt. San Antonio College “made his top list as an homage to his uncles who coached and played at the college,” notes ESPN. In the end though, Clemson came out on top.
Uiagalelei received offers from numerous Division 1 schools, including 14 of Mark Schlabach’s “Updated Way-Too-Early Top 25” for the 2019 football season: Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, LSU, Michigan, Oregon, Washington State, Washington, Utah, and Auburn.