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DJ Uiagalelei Commits to Florida State

The Seminoles have locked down their quarterback for the foreseeable future, as DJ Uiagalelei commits to Florida State. The decision came during a brief phone interview with ESPN early Monday afternoon. Uiagalelei should come into 2024 as the starter for FSU. He makes his return to the ACC, where he was previously the starter for Clemson for three seasons. Uiagalelei was a five-star recruit and the top pocket passer in the country in the Class of 2020. In the transfer portal, he was a four-star recruit and one of the top signal-callers remaining on the market. This past season, Uiagalelei was at Oregon State where he took big strides in his development. He threw for a career-high 2,638 yards for 21 touchdowns, with another career-high mark of 8.4 yards per attempt.

DJ Uiagalelei Commits to Florida State

The news follows Cam Ward’s decision to enter the NFL draft rather than return to college for one more year. Ward, formally at Washington State, had a breakout 2023 campaign and was another prized portal quarterback. He was reportedly down to Miami and Florida State. His surprising spurning of the college game for the professional level all but secured Uiagalelei’s commitment. “That’s where I wanted to go the whole time. For the most part, I was locked in at Florida State. I wanted to be a Seminole.” His visit in mid-December was the only one he took with any program, and the two sides never looked back.

DJ Uiagalelei Commitment: Impact and Outlook

DJ Uiagalelei committing to Florida State means a whole lot more stability for a quarterback room that seemingly had none over the past few weeks. Backups Tate Rodemaker and AJ Duffy entered the transfer portal following the Seminoles’ snubbing from the College Football Playoff. That left only one lone scholarship quarterback on the roster, true freshman Brock Glenn, heading into the Orange Bowl tilt against Georgia. Uiagalelei immediately brings the toughness, experience, and leadership factors that have been sorely missed in Tallahassee since the Jordan Travis injury. His stats speak for themselves: a 30-10 record as a starter, to go along with 8,319 yards and 57 touchdowns in his career thus far.

Uiagalelei doesn’t possess the dynamic dual-threat traits Travis displayed throughout his career. Relying on his legs usually comes as more of a last resort. However, he’s a more polished passer, especially when it comes to the intermediate and deep passing games. Uiagalelei possesses more touch in those areas, fitting the ball into tight windows, and proficient with back shoulder throws and 50-50 balls. One point he echoed that helped lead to his decision was how well the Seminoles’ aggressive offensive game plan matches his play style.

He’s the perfect option for entering a transitionary time for the FSU program. Uiagalelei only has one year of eligibility remaining, but it came to be an extremely productive final year. His mentorship ability should prove invaluable to Glenn and 2024 high four-star signee Luke Kromenhoek. His impact will not only be felt on the field in 2024. Under his guidance, the next several years of Seminole quarterbacks can be molded into winners, as well. The future outlook certainly looks brighter with the news. If Travis’ meteoric rise in development has anything to say, this could be a standout year for Uiagalelei in Mike Norvell’s system.

Photo Credit: Abigail Dollins/Statesman Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

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