Clemson football QB DJ Uiagalelei on why he entered the transfer portal

Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei officially entered the transfer portal Monday.

He made his declaration on Twitter.

“God has brought me to this special place for a reason and I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything,” Uiagalelei said. “I am very thankful and appreciative of the staff, trainers and my coaches for believing in me and pushing me every day to be the best I can both on and off the field.

“The relationships I have built with everyone in the building will last a lifetime and I am forever thankful for that. Lastly, I want to thank all my teammates. The brotherhood we have at Clemson is something special. The relationships I have built with guys on the team run much deeper than football.

“After careful consideration I would like to say that I have decided to enter the transfer portal.”

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After struggling early in Saturday night’s ACC Championship Game against North Carolina, Uiagalelei was replaced by freshman Cade Klubnik, who guided the Tigers to scores on four straight possessions en route to a 39-10 victory the Tar Heels.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney confirmed after the game that Klubnik will be the starting quarterback in the Orange Bowl against Tennessee on Dec. 30.

Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) fades back to pass near North Carolina defensive lineman Kevin Hester (98) during the first quarter of the ACC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina Saturday, Dec 3, 2022.

After impressive performances as a freshman in relief of then-starter Trevor Lawrence, Uiagalelei started every Clemson game over the past two seasons. He struggled during his sophomore year, with more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (nine).

Uiagalelei’s performances ran hot and cold this season, ultimately ending with him being benched at least temporarily in favor of Klubnik on multiple occasions. Uiagalelei was coming off the worst performance of his career - an 8-for-29 for 99 yards outing in a 31-30 loss to South Carolina on Nov. 26.

Uiagalelei, who was a five-star recruit out of California’s St. John Bosco High, passed for 2,521 yards and 22 touchdowns against seven interceptions this season.

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Clemson football QB DJ Uiagalelei on why he entered the transfer portal