Swinney, Streeter, see the similarities between Uiagalelei and Rattleri’s interactions with opponents ( News Oklahoma )

With Saturday’s rivalry game just around the corner, quarterbacks DJ Uiagalelei and Spencer Rattler will meet for the first time in their college careers when the annual Clemson-Carolina game returns to Memorial Stadium for the first time since 2018.

“I met Spencer a couple of times, I know Spencer really well,” said Uiagalelei. “He’s a great guy. I met him my junior year in high school when he was a senior. I went to Oklahoma when he was in Oklahoma. I met him there and hung out with him, he’s a real good dude. I like Spencer a lot.”

While the quarterbacks took very different paths to get to where they are today, they both found their fair share of adversity.

Rattler retired from Oklahoma after three seasons following freshman Caleb Williams’ starting job as a junior at the Rapids. Uiagalele has faced some adversity of his own in his first season at the helm of the Tigers, taking over the role from three-year starter and first-round draft pick Trevor Lawrence, a Clemson 2021 injury issue on both sides of the ball.

“They made a change in Oklahoma and he” [Rattler] passed,” running back Dabo Swinney said. “I think the quarterbacks get a lot of blame sometimes, like last year, we didn’t play DJ well, but we weren’t around him either. I think it took them some time to find their stride this year, and now those kids make plays for him. He’s a very talented player.

“Both of them have their differences, but DJ has done really well for us, apart from two games, he has done well. He’s 21-5, he’s a winner, he’s a great leader, and he’s an incredibly committed person. I don’t know Spencer, I never met him, I don’t think so, but I had a lot of respect for him as an actor, and he got all the tools.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter echoed Swinney’s sentiments, adding that while the two quarterback situations couldn’t be more different, the expectations placed on him were similar.

“Someone is not sure” [similarities] as far as expectations go, they’re a little different, but in a way they’re similar and they just have those great expectations when you’re in the program, all you have to do is expect to be the guy who saves,” Streeter said. “This is not easy to handle sometimes”

While he doesn’t try to compare Uiagalelei’s journey to others, the quarterback sees a bit of his own journey in the Gamecock quarterback and has also stayed true to himself in the process.

“I think from the trip, he did a great job and he sticks to him as a person and as a person,” said Uiagalelei. “I feel like he just did a good job of just playing his game, not listening to the outside noise. Not to watch too much about the season and how he played, but overall, Spencer Rattler is a good dude for me. I met a guy and I know the guy, he’s a great guy, a great person, a good football player, and I’m happy for him.


The Tigers have three draft picks in the first round of this Thanksgiving 2023 NFL draft

This story first appeared on Clemson Wire


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