Dabo Swinney says DJ Uiagalelei has 'noticeably' more speed after offseason weight loss
Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei spent a lot of time improving his body — and overall play — this offseason.
According to coach Dabo Swinney, Uiagalelei is down 30 pounds from his playing weight at the end of last season. That weight loss has allowed Uiagalelei to become more nimble with his feet, Swinney said.
“He’s made several plays with his feet that I don’t think he would have made last year,” Swinney told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s been very noticeable.”
Dabo Swinney says starting QB DJ Uiagalelei, down about 30 pounds, is "faster. He's made several plays with his feet that I don't think he would have made last year. It's been very noticeable."
— Chapel Fowler (@chapelfowler) August 10, 2022
Uiagalelei weighed in at 234 pounds at Clemson’s formal weigh-in last week.
Last season, Uiagalelei rushed for just 308 yards and 4 touchdowns on 105 attempts. While he’s proven to be mobile so far in his collegiate career, his efficiency as a runner wasn’t there last season.
If Uiagalelei can improve his mobility in a meaningful way it would go a long way toward improving Clemson’s offense. Staying healthy — which was also a challenge at times for Uiagalelei last season — will also be crucial. Uiagalelei commented on his weight loss earlier this offseason, saying that he’s in the “best shape” of his life.
Clemson’s offense as a whole should be improved in 2022. The offensive line returns several key starters, has a healthy receiver corps and a running back room that’s led by All-ACC candidate Will Shipley.
At ACC Kickoff last month, Swinney spoke about some of the adversity that Uiagalelei had to face and why he thinks he’ll be improved in 2022.
Clemson opens the 2022 season with Georgia Tech on Sept. 5.