Uiagalelei showed why he was a five-star recruit during his limited action in place of Trevor Lawrence last season. Now, the responsibility of guiding the Tigers to a seventh-straight College Football Playoff appearance will fall on his shoulders.
Following a practice last week, Swinney was asked to assess how Uiagalelei has performed this summer.
“He’s had a good camp,” Swinney told reporters, via 247Sports’ Anna Hickey. “One of the reasons we try to script practice the way we do is to challenge the quarterback, because he’s got to manage the game. It’s not fair him to expect to do certain things if you don’t expose him to those things in practice.
“He’s a great leader and everybody has confidence in him. He makes everyone around him better. He loves it. He loves to compete and prepare. He’s had a good camp, but he’s like everyone else– grinding to get better.”
Last month, Uiagalelei shared what he learned from Lawrence in their one season together as teammates.
“I think the one thing I’ll touch on is how to become a true professional of the game off the field,” Uiagalelei said at ACC Media Day. “The way Trevor handled different things off the field, how he dealt with media, how he dealt going around town. He couldn’t be like himself, he had to uphold to a Clemson quarterback where he maybe couldn’t do the regular things that a college athlete or college student couldn’t do.”
Uiagalelei and his teammates will be challenged out of the gate this fall, with the Tigers opening up against Georgia on September 4 in a battle of top-five teams.