DJ Uiagalelei landing spots: Oregon, Auburn among best fits for Oregon State QB in transfer portal

Once expected to be one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, former Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei is moving on from his one-year stay at Oregon State and entering the transfer portal a second time.

Uiagalelei firmly reestablished himself at OSU and should be strong candidate for a number of programs. He has one year of eligibility left and could use it to increase his draft stock, which was considered at one point to have a first-round ceiling.

At the same time, it is not out of the question for Uiagalelei to forgo that final year of eligibility and try his luck in the 2024 NFL Draft if he feels he’s shown scouts enough improvement.

Uiagalelei finished out the 2022 season completing 57.1% of his passes for 2,638 yards with 21 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 2023. Oregon State’s head coach Jonathan Smith left for Michigan State and Oregon State’s football future is uncertain with the collapse of the Pac-12, so it is not a big surprise the former Clemson quarterback is looking for a third school to close his career.

Here’s a look into three spots that could make sense for Uiagalelei:

DJ Uiagalelei transfer portal landing spots

Oregon 

Uiagalelei could stay in-state with this move. The Ducks hit a home run in the transfer portal by landing Bo Nix from Auburn, but there’s no doubt Oregon will be among the programs interested in a portal quarterback with Nix likely a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

With the names currently in the portal at quarterback, Uiagalelei should catch Oregon’s eye and could be the next quarterback to hit his ceiling in Eugene. He would enter direct competition with Ducks quarterbacks Ty Thompson and Austin Novosad.

MORE: Transfer portal QB tracker 2023: Tyler Van Dyke, Will Howard on the move

Kentucky

Devin Leary is out of eligibility at the end of the season, meaning he’ll likely try to take his chances on becoming a late-round draft pick or signing with a team as a priority undrafted free agent. Leary had his ups and downs in Lexington, and would benefit from another year if he had one to play. There’s been some buzz that Leary could try to apply for another year of eligibility, something that would be in his best interest.

And, if he were to, it would not be out of the question for him to enter the transfer portal and try for a better season with another change of scenery. If Kentucky were to try to replace him with a transfer quarterback, Uiagalelei could be an option for a team that’s been active in the portal at quarterback over the past couple of years.

Auburn

The Tigers have had a plethora of issues at quarterback over recent years, failing to maintain consistency or to tap the potential of quarterbacks with talent now considered elite like that of Bo Nix.

Last year, Auburn was tied to multiple quarterbacks in the transfer portal. The Tigers ended up going with Michigan State quarterback Payton Thorne, who currently holds the starting job. Many expect Auburn to be active in the portal once more, and the team could bring on a player like Uiagalelei to up the competition within the room.

Duke 

The Blue Devils are now without Riley Leonard as the star quarterback recently entered the transfer portal with a “do not contact” tag, meaning his mind is likely made up and that his destination is already lined up ahead of time.

Behind Leonard on the depth chart are some questionable names in Henry Belin IV and Grayson Loftis that need a lot of work to keep Duke as competitive as it was in the Mike Elko-Leonard era.

Uiagalelei could return to the ACC and give Duke a chance to maintain its recent upswing even though arguably its two most important pieces are gone. 

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