D.J. Whiagaley was destined for greatness.
It is 1.82 meters high, weighs 250 pounds and is constructed as a defensive perimeter. His Clemson teammates tease him about his role as quarterback, but it would be a waste of perhaps the strongest hand in college football. There’s no movement Uiagalela can’t make. He got his first Power 5 scholarship in the sixth grade and by the time he went to high school, he had already received half a dozen more. He is friendly, funny and, according to people who have known him since childhood, an old soul who would rather watch a movie or spend time with his family than enjoy the attention that comes with fame. It’s a complete package, a train to the stars.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the projector found Viagalea. It’s just time. It’s a huge increase, even by his standards.
On Saturday, Uiagalelei starts his second career at university. This happened after Trevor Lawrence had tested the VIDOC-19 with a positive result at the end of last week. After that, the fans immediately spent two days debating when the biggest star of the sport will return. However, shortly after Uiagaley scored a 342-yard victory at Boston College with a score of 34-28, Dabo Piggy made the victory official.
It was the Ouiagaley team during Notre Dame week.
So if you’re unfamiliar with Clemson’s new CB, here’s your chance to catch up on nine things you should know about the next big star in student football before he travels to South Bend with the Tigers for a showdown with Notre Dame No. 4 in Clemson’s biggest game of the season and the biggest phase of his young career.
He knows his last name is difficult to pronounce.
After Uiagalelei was announced this week as the starter of the game, Clemenson posted a video on Twitter in which other players try to say his last name. That didn’t go so well.
Now, the quarterback, number five… @DJujiagal pic.twitter.com/fWmrtMaSDY
– Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) 30. October 2020
I think one person said how wavy she was, Uiagalei said.
Another teammate notes with some confidence that it is not ukulele.
Most people just call him DJ, or as Cornell Powell, the money man, suggested, a joke about Wialaleigh’s ability to pay when it counts.
The Oniagal jelly prefers the nickname Big 5inco – a reference to both their size and their homogeneous number. High school students in California called him Cinco until one day a modifier was added, and he loved the sound of it. He started adding #Big5inco to his Instagram positions, and this summer he bought a gold necklace with a nickname on it for the rest of his scholarship. The silver man knows how to make a stamp.
You can call me what you like, Whiagaley, but ideally not Wiggly Lee.
For the record, it’s a u-e-e-e-e.
He has always had a strong arm.
Uiagalelei started playing football at the age of two with his father, Big Dave, and even then his father thought he had a child prodigy on his hands.
You could see the mechanics, his father talked about the early years of the Uiagal jelly in soccer. The bullet went out smoothly.
At the age of 9, Uiagaley played in the Pop Warner League with the college kids and was clearly the best player of his team. It was easy not to notice his youth, because he was the same size as older children and he had the hand of a man twice his age.
The school’s reputation is growing. His coach at St. John’s. John Bosco, Jason Negro, said he has trained with or against dozens of big Buy More prospects, from Carson Palmer to Josh Rosen, and none of them had the strength of Uiagala’s hand.
Piggy remembers the Uiagalela camp that Clemonson attended with 1500 children of all ages. Coach Clemson accidentally watched the throwing exercise when he saw Uiagalelei release the laser, and Swinney panicked as he rushed to drag smaller receivers onto the line.
He can’t throw the ball to just anyone, Piggy said. He’s got a gun, and I think he was trying to show off. And those kids… Somebody had to get hurt.
This story was spread on social networking sites, which prompted the replacement Clemson – Buy More by Ben Batson – to come up with his own story about lying.
I’ll never forget his first training, Batson remembers. I had to warm up with him, and after practice I was cold. No lies.
The nigger remembers the throw of Uiagalei against Mater Dei in a state championship match he still can’t believe. It was just before the break and Uiagaley fired a rocket at Chris Hatson, who is now in Oregon. It was a backward throw that hit the receiver 25 meters from the field.
I don’t think that thing ever flew more than five meters above the ground, Steele said, but it was an absolute laser.
And then there’s the competition with Justin Fields – the long ball competition in 2017, when Uiagaleleia was still in her second year. The field, which was number 1 in the general classification a year later, was in 30th place, took five steps and threw the ball 80 meters. Uiagalela didn’t seem impressed. Dressed in a grey T-shirt around his biceps and wearing a black hat, Uiagalelei turned around, jumped from the 30th floor and took a deep breath. The balloon floated 85 meters in the air. The whole crowd reacted unanimously: Oh, my God!
Or ask Chris Steele, now DB at USC, who played against Uiagalelei at St. Louis training. John’s Bosco.
D.J. can throw 75 on a beautiful day without warming up, Steele said. He’s unbeatable.
He wanted to play baseball.
Uiagalei’s first love wasn’t football. In the sixth grade he was even willing to stop playing sports, both at home and at school, thanks to a slight misinterpretation of Mariano Rivera’s autobiography.
Uiagalelei was a big fan of the New York Yankees stars, and he read that Rivera dropped out of school at the age of 12 to play full-time baseball. At the age of 15, he signed a professional contract that saved him from poverty in the Dominican Republic.
It all sounded very good for Viagalelei.
I told my parents that I wanted to drop out of school and asked them to send me to the Dominican Republic, Uiagalei said, so I could play baseball full-time.
Uiagalei’s parents wisely gave up that option and when he arrived at school he fell in love with the drama and energy of football, which became his thing.
He played baseball in his first year in high school and divided his time between diamond matches and spring football practice, where he tried to win a runway at a Buy More. He finished his second year in baseball, but returned as a junior and returned to the pitching hill for the first time in four years.
It was incredible, said Don Barbara, the St. John Bosco baseball coach.
But just before spring, Uiagaley cut his hand with the first aid kit and had to undergo surgery, causing him to miss most of the season. He then decided to sign up for Clemson early in January, which prevented him from returning to the baseball field.
Barbara said that if he had been with us all season, I had no doubt he would have been in the first selection round.
ESPN’s daily podcast: David Hale joins the show to talk about DJ Whiagalel.
His favorite Buy More is not what it looks like.
Uiagalelei is a half-samoan on his father’s side, and he says he is proud of the legacy of Polynesian quarterbacks who have succeeded in university football, from Marcus Marriott to Tua Tagovayloa. In fact, he can keep a complete list of players from the islands he was investigating.
His favorite? He’s not running for Heisman. In fact, he’s Mariota’s predecessor in Oregon, Jeremiah Butter.
He was my favorite quarterback when I was a kid, Ouiagalei said.
Of course, most of these guys were playing on the West Coast, and Uiagaley said he was happy to be some kind of klemson ambassador for other Polynesians who may not have considered the South a likely landing site.
I must be the first Polynesian in Clemson, he said.
And all this can be included in another Buy More – but not on the islands.
Ouiagalei says he was introduced to Clemson in high school by the former great tiger Taj Boyd. He loved seeing Boyd in the game and thought a foul would be good for him too. Six years later, that’s exactly what happened.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Josh Morgan/USA Sports Monday
He almost went to Alabama.
Clemson, as you know, bought stock exchanges. As Piggy likes to say, we don’t recruit, and Clemson doesn’t usually look for quarterbacks in California. With more than 70 sets in hand, Uiagalei had never appeared on Piggy’s radar at the start of the second season.
But as you’d expect, defense coordinator Brent Venables was in the West and recruited a defender when he stopped to meet a Negro.
We have that quarterback, said the Negro, until Venabes interrupted him and Coach St. John’s recalled the need for a new coach. John Bosco that Clemenson is not going fishing at the Buy More without having a good idea that they are going to land a big one.
I love the story that everyone thinks Clemson came to recruit him, said Big Dave Whiagaley, and the fact that the DJ had to ask his head coach to ask Clemson.
The Venabes are called Buy More coach, Brandon Striter. Streeter dug up a movie and then went back to Venables.
Yeah, we should probably talk to this guy.
Uiagaleya was interested, but it wasn’t sold, so he traveled the summer after the junior season to visit campuses in Alabama, Georgia and Clemson.
His first stop was Alabama, and he loved it. He immediately called his father to say he was ready. Big Dave supported the plan, but he wanted his son to keep his options open. Go to other schools, he suggested, and then decide.
Clemson was the last step, and it only took one meeting to convince Ouiagalea.
He must have talked to Dabo, Big Dave said, and it’s over.
These two elements are connected by religion. Piggy talks about his faith, and he also mentioned the Ouiagalei. He saw in Pig an example, both in the field and in faith.
Uiagalei wears a cache on his left wrist with strips of biblical poetry, one of which he received as a birthday present from his cousin, which seems to be the perfect beginning of his career. It’s from Jeremiah, and it’s readable: Call me and I’ll answer and tell you big and powerful things.
He can walk a little, even.
Whiagaley wears number 5 because he grew up at USC and he loved Reggie Bush. In fact, he wanted to be the same star dick as the Trojans.
There’s only one problem: Bush was six feet tall and weighed maybe 200 pounds in college. Onion galley – 6-4, 250. Apples and oranges.
I’ll never be like Reggie, Whiagaley said.
And yet the big man can move, as he showed in his debut against Boston College last week. A 20-yard touchdown by Uiagalelia paved the way for the Tigers’ comeback and left B.C. defencemen astonished, underestimating the 18-wheel drive that had just passed them.
I don’t think D.J. gets enough praise for his truly athletic nature, said Danny Hernandez, coach of the Buy More at Uiagaleleia Private High School. Even now it’s like looking at him… It’s a big boy moving in here.
Colby Bowman started his part of the Whiagalaleigh passes in high school, enough to get a scholarship to Stanford. But ask Bowman his favorite game of his ex-QB, and it’s not an 80-yard pitch.
He drove 90 yards to a Buy More tie, said Bowman.
Bowman was in the Downfield trying to block for his Buy More and he remembers looking back and thinking Whiagalea was on his heels: Dude, this guy’s stalking me.
He’s going to throw the ball down 70 yards and then catch someone, Bowman said. He’s the whole package. That guy’s a crazy athlete. I don’t get it.
Put the nigger in a more concise position: We had a lot of good quarterbacks here, but none was as talented as the DJ.
He’s still not Reggie Bush. But there’s a consolation prize. Before the game against Boston College last week, Uiagalelia received a message. It was Bush’s.
Are you ready for the game? Bush wrote. I have every confidence in you.
Onion galley is not easy to survive, but this moment was something special.
It’s just unbelievable, he says. I was thinking: I have to be ready when Reggie thinks I’m ready.
Her father is her imposter.
Everybody knows Big Dave. It’s hard to miss. He’s been a bodyguard for celebrities, including Snoop Dogg and Nick Cannon, and he’s… he’s big.
Physically, Big Dave is huge. When DJ Clemson came in as a newcomer, he was surrounded by a horde of fans after the match, who all wanted an autograph. Big Dave is back in safety mode and gently pushes people away so his son can get through. But it’s not just a question of size. Big Dave’s personality is enormous. He is full of joy and enthusiasm, and there is nothing that would make him happier than his children.
Look at last year’s television game against Boston College. In each episode, the cameras were aimed at Big Dave and his wife, D.J.’s mother Tausha, and Big Dave stood there waving and screaming. He’s been doing this since junior high.
PHILOSOPHY DOCTOR Uiagalelei shares this moment with his family after chasing him for a point in his first career start at @ClemsonFB pic.twitter.com/dvnLI5nTtM.
– ACC network (@accnetwork) 31. October 2020
The fact is that all this enthusiasm can be a small problem for DJs. He’s quiet, discreet. Even after last week’s big win, DJ remembered an 18-point victory with a distance bordering on boring. D.J. said it was West Coast behavior. He’s always the coolest guy in the room.
Big Dave? It’s not that much.
I’ve been promoted to DJ since I was seven, says Big Dave.
Of course it’s proud, but it’s also a bit professional. For many years Big Dave has swapped videos of the best games, close-ups and brilliant DJ reviews to bring the boy to the market and give him great opportunities. He made a lot of money as a bodyguard, but he disappeared for months. When D.J. was 9 years old, he asked his father why he was away so much. It broke Big Dave’s heart. He quit his job and started as a resource officer at a local school. It took him a month to earn what he earned in a few days. It wasn’t about scraping money for private camps, training and education in a place like St. John Bosco. So Big Dave found a job to sell the talent he knew his son had to the rest of the world.
I’m not saying my son’s better, Big Dave. I’ll never be Lavar Ball. I just share what other people write. But yeah, I’m a proud fucking father.
No wonder when D.J. found out he was going to face British Columbia last week, his phone call received a warning: Hey, Dad, don’t put all that stuff on social networking sites.
Message received. Big Dave kept his mouth shut until the news came, then he told all the stories he’d found about his boy. That’s what dads do.
Still, it’s a small problem for a modest DJ, so he’s found a simple solution. He tweeted his father.
But he still looks a bit like a mommy’s boy.
If Big Dave is an impostor, then Tausha Ouiagalei is the DJ’s link to the real world. She keeps her son under house arrest.
I’m more like my mother, he says.
His former offensive coordinator at Bosco, Stephen Lo, said he thought Uiagalela was an old man. He saw everything and never worried.
I’ve never seen him downstairs, and I can count on how many times I’ve seen him downstairs, Lo. For example, you just threw a coin between two defenders. It’s okay to be excited.
This contained cold, that’s all she’s got. So, next to his Big 5inco necklace, he has another one, which he wears with a T-suspension. It’s for Tausha.
Tausha provides the necessary compensation, says Jesse Christensen, Bosco’s director of football. After all, I think the first call for him always goes to his mother.
It’s funny, D.J. doesn’t mind being a little hype when it comes to his mom. When his Instagram page exploded when he landed at Clemson’s opening concert, he also wanted to give Tausha some love, so he posted a note encouraging his fans to follow my mother with a link to her account.
And he is not intimidated by Our Lady
After his victory last week, Uiagalelei took part in a zoom session with the media in front of the camera. He scored three touchdowns and built an almost miraculous comeback to keep Clemson’s play-off hope alive and prevent a colossal disruption.
You’d think he was impressed with himself.
When he was 18, he calmly said it wasn’t too many points. I knew we’d come back.
It turns out he’s right. After he returned to St. John’s. At St. John’s Bosco, his team beat Mater Dei 28-5 in the first half, and then designed and won from behind. Uiagaley made a joke with his teammates to ease the tension, brought the attack to a late score before the break, gathered the boys in the locker room, brought the whole field down, waved to the spectators and scored again. And again. And again, until Bosco wins his 38-35 victory.
Eighteen points, so it’s a piece of cake.
And we can assume that Notre Dame is a bit of a big scene, but she doesn’t like vagalism either.
He could go to almost any university in the United States, but he decided to move around the country to join a team that already had a star design studio in Lawrence. He wanted to go somewhere where he’d be challenged. And he wanted to learn from the tiger superstar.
He knows Notre Dame is a good school, he says. And it’s pretty cool that they made a movie about Rudy. Other than that? He didn’t know much about the Irish until he went to watch the movie this week.
Funny that Lawrence has nothing to teach her this week. They shared a zoom screen during the Irish preparation meetings and Lawrence will travel with the team and stay away from the game on Saturday. But the crime is in Ouiagalel’s hands, and Lawrence isn’t too worried about it. His advice is for Ouiagalei: Stay calm, find the keys, play.
What more can you say to a man with that talent? After all, that’s how it’s supposed to be.
Big Dave got a call from a good friend after Saturday’s game. A friend works with Snoop Dogg, and they met when Big Dave worked in security a few years ago. During that time, Big Dave kept talking about his boy, a nine-year-old boy with a gun who would one day be a big quarterback.
His friend called him and congratulated him. Not for D.J., but for his father.
We all thought you were crazy, he told Big Dave. But, man, you were right.