Clemson football: DJ Uiagalelei will help Tigers join college football history

D.J. Uiagalelei
D.J. Uiagalelei /

The Clemson football quarterback train is expected to keep rolling in 2021 with the addition of freshman quarterback DJ Uiagalelei.

There are a lot of football programs that have never and may never have a program changing quarterback and yet Clemson football seemingly will have had three in just a matter of years, with two of them being on the roster at the same time.

There were many at the start of Deshaun Watson’s junior year that once he left, that Clemson football would go back to what they wanted it to be – a doormat for other programs. Instead, the Tigers have dominated on the field, in the classroom and on the recruiting trail signing five-star prospect after five-star prospect.

Now, those same skeptics believe that once Trevor Lawrence leaves that the Tigers will go back to mediocrity again, insert quarterback DJ Uiagalelei.

Less than 10 days ago, Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney told the media that Uiagalelei made Lawrence look “average” at times when he throws the ball.

When looking across college football history, just a handful of teams have had at least three first-round NFL picks at quarterback in any 10-year history. With Trevor Lawrence expected to be the first pick of the draft whenever he declares and DJ Uiagalelei expected to develop into a first-round pick, they will join Deshaun Watson as the Tigers trio of first-round picks.

Here is a look at who else has had at least three first-round picks at quarterback within 10 years in college football history.

University of Miami Hurricanes

From 1980-1989 the Hurricanes had four first-round picks taken at the quarterback position. Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Steve Walsh, and Jim Kelly were all take in the first round of the NFL draft.

Brigham Young University Cougars

The original “QBU” in the 80s in college football. Between 1980 Steve Young, Jim McMahon and Marc Wilson all were taken in the first round of the NFL draft. Young and McMahon both went on to win a Super Bowl as a starting quarterback as well as another a backup.

Florida State Seminoles

Hands down the three biggest busts in their drafts as first-round quarterbacks. Between 2011-2015 the Seminoles had three quarterbacks taken in the first round; Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel, and Jameis Winston. Manuel and Ponder fizzled out quickly and Winston is currently teamless and posting odd workout videos on social media.

University of Southern California

For a long time, USC was known as RBU, but between 2003 and 2009, they had a nice run of quarterbacks winning the Heisman Trophy as well as being taken in the first round. Carson Palmer started it in 2003 followed by Matt Leinhart and then Mark Sanchez in 2009.

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Should DJ Uiagalelei develop into the player that people expect for him too, Clemson will add to a very rare list of quarterbacks from the same school being drafted in the first round within ten years. There is little doubt that under quarterback coach Brandon Streeter than he will not get there.