Oregon came in runner-up for the rights to five-star quarterback and renowned top prospect D.J. Uiagalelei on Sunday, as the dynamic QB announced his commitment to the Clemson Tigers over the Oregon Ducks.
Uiagalelei made the announcement with a YouTube video that was released at noon on Sunday. The Tigers and Ducks were his two finalists.
At Oregon, D.J. would have been able to start right away, as his first collegiate season would coincide with the first post-Justin Herbert season in Eugene. By picking Clemson, D.J. will likely sit behind incumbent QB Trevor Lawrence, who won a national championship as a true freshman and is poised for similar success as a sophomore. Uiagalelei will be a senior in high school this upcoming season.
Uiagalelei previously visited Oregon multiple occasions including during the spring game on April 20th, when he had a chance to meet and interact with a self-described hero of his, Ducks legend Jeremiah Masoli. Marcus Mariota was also in the house to help inform and aid Uiagalelei’s perspective on the Ducks. But in the end, the pull of Clemson’s national dominance and surging reputation as a breeding ground of quarterback greatness was too much to pass up.
Tyler Shough, meanwhile, can settle in as the quarterback of the future for Oregon as Herbert enters his final collegiate season. Shough will be a redshirt freshman this year, and has shown positive signs of growth at every step.
While Sunday feels like a loss for Oregon, to be a finalist in a recruiting battle where the opponent was a program that has appeared in three of the last four national championship games, winning two of them, is a victory for perception.