Nation's No.1 QB prospect provides "wow moment" during camp finale
|Thursday, June 14, 2018, 10:49 AM- -|
CLEMSON – The final session of Dabo Swinney’s annual high school camp is usually a laid-back affair with very little in the way of excitement. That wasn’t the case Thursday morning as camp ended with a pop – the pop of the ball hitting receiver’s hands as the No. 1 rated QB for 2020 threw for the coaches.
D.J. Uiagalelei (6-5, 235) is a five-star quarterback in the 2020 class out of Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco who is on a three-school swing to the East Coast – he’s visited Alabama and Georgia and is ending his trip in Clemson. He arrived on campus Wednesday afternoon and won’t leave until Friday morning. The group is scheduled to spend time at Swinney’s house Thursday evening.
We have some additional intel to pass along, including how the offer from Clemson (which came late Wednesday) was conveyed. Uiagalelei and his coaches were on a golf cart with quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter and recruiting assistant Jordan Sorrells. The group made it to a dock on Lake Hartwell (at the women’s rowing facility) close to sunset, and the group remarked about the gorgeous setting.
“It’s the perfect place to extend an offer,” Streeter told Uiagalelei. That makes 28 offers for the 5-star, but don’t think Clemson doesn’t have a chance. I was told that Clemson might be the front-runner after this visit, along with Oregon. The Tigers run the same offense Uiagalelei is used to running and he’s intrigued by the success Clemson had with Deshaun Watson.
One of his coaches gave me a nugget that will thrill Clemson fans – as mentioned earlier, they’ve already been to Alabama and Georgia, and I was told that there is a distinct difference between the two SEC schools and Clemson. He said that the culture at Clemson is far more welcoming to a recruit than at the first two places. He was shocked when Clemson’s current players would come up and introduce themselves and talk about the program – they didn’t see that at the first two stops. He said it’s a culture that starts at the top and called Swinney a “living legend.” He said he was also blown away by how personable Swinney is in person.
I know some people wonder how a small school tucked away in the corner of South Carolina can continue to bring in high-profile recruits. There’s your answer right there. Swinney has created a culture that stands out above the others.
Swinney also spent more than a few minutes talking to Uiagalelei and watching him throw.
Some further intel on Uiagalelei before we move on, and something to keep an eye on: he’s a highly-regarded baseball prospect who throws in the mid-90’s. He didn’t play baseball this spring because he wanted to hone his throwing motion in football, but there are those who think he could be a high draft pick in a few years. He played last season at 248 pounds but sits at 235 right now. He's a hoss.
*Swansea (SC.) linebacker Greg Williams was back on campus Thursday morning but didn’t work out. Clemson offered Williams (6-3, 230) last week following his performance as a one-day camper, and he made the return trip with his family to get a tour of the university.
He was seen walking around the indoor practice facility. He is scheduled to work out at Georgia on Friday and then participate in South Carolina’s 7-on-7 tournament Saturday.
*Clemson gave out another five-star offer Wednesday night – this one to Seattle (WA) Garfield 2020 five-star defensive end Sav’ell Smalls,, one of the highlights of camp. Smalls told us the offer was “right up there” and then had this to say about the Clemson program.
“It’s definitely a great feeling it’s a great program top to bottom,” Smalls said. “I love a lot of things about it, so I was glad to get out and explore the campus and get the official offer.”
*Defensive end Ruke Orhorhoro out of River Rouge (MI) saw his recruitment take off during the spring evaluation, including an offer from Clemson. He recently named a top four of Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Clemson. He has been on campus this week and he worked out Thursday – on the basketball court. He was spotted playing hoops on the courts outside the new operations building.
*A surprise visitor on the offensive line was 2021 tackle Eli Sutton of Nashville (TN) Ensworth. Sutton spent time with offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell. Sutton has early offers from LSU, South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Louisville.
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