Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting, with Sam Spiegelman. In this edition, we discuss 2020 quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, who made an unofficial visit to Baton Rouge in February along with a host of elite California recruits.
DJ Uiagalelei recaps LSU visit
SULPHUR, La. — Only four quarterbacks in the 2020 class hold offers from LSU. Two visited on the same weekend.
California gunslinger DJ Uiagalelei made his first-ever visit to Baton Rouge on Feb. 4, just two weeks after being offered by new offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger. Truth be told, even the No. 3-ranked pro-style passer per the 247Sports composite rankings, was caught off-guard by the overture.
“It felt great,” Uiagalelei told SEC Country of the offer. “It’s a great honor for a school way out here to look at me, look at my film and have interest in me. It’s a great honor to know that they have offered me and have that interest in me.”
Ensminger called the St. John Bosco (Calif.) product immediately after watching his sophomore highlight reel.
The 6-foot-5 and 245-pound Uiagalelei possesses an impressive frame to go along with impressive arm strength and accuracy.
“I talked to him [Ensminger] over the phone and he said he liked my film a lot,” Uiagalelei recalled. “He said I’m one of the quarterbacks they liked and he’d like to offer me a scholarship. He liked my film and he wanted to see me and have me come down there.
“It meant a lot that he had interest in me, even though I’m from L.A. [Los Angeles] and they’re way out here. To have the confidence to offer me meant a lot. He liked my size and how I played during the game, the stuff that I do during games and he said it would fit in well [at LSU].”
Uiagalelei made the visit to Baton Rouge after earning top performer honors at the annual SPE Camp in Sulphur, La. He did so with a large contingency of California prospects, including newly offered 2020 defensive back Elias Ricks.
The 4-star quarterback connected with coach Ed Orgeron for the first time and met Ensminger in person. He also was anxious to tour Tiger Stadium.
“That’s a big-time school and really good at football,” Uiagalelei laughed. “The stadium with the tiger’s eye right there in the middle. I wanted to see the stadium and the head coach. I wanted to see him in person and hear how he sounds.
“All the facilities were amazing. Just to see the field, the weight room, the trophies when you walk in … The campus was super nice. Walking into the stadium was amazing. The [Los Angeles] Coliseum is big out here, but that thing [Tiger Stadium] was humongous. Walking through it to the locker room, seeing the uniforms and having Coach Orgeron with us the whole time, that was really cool. I haven’t head a head coach do that.”
Uiagalelei spent 1-on-1 time with both Orgeron and Ensminger, discussing a potential fit.
“Coach O was like a family member. That’s how it felt talking to him,” he said. “I just felt comfortable talking to him.”
“I watched film with Coach E for a while,” Uiagalelei added. “We talked about my film, broke down different stuff. He showed me LSU film, their offense and the direction they’re going in. The way they’re going, I like it a lot. You know they have a big run game, but they want to open up the passing game. You know, pass to open up the run. I like that a lot with the different formations and the types of plays they run, it’s similar to here at Bosco.”
Uiagalelei has no set timeline for making a decision, but the California native expects he’ll finalize his plans either during or right after his senior season.
Despite being a West Coast product, Uiagalelei has no qualms about playing out-of-state, which makes LSU a realistic landing spot.
“No, not at all,” he said, when asked if proximity to home is a factor. “I’m open to any school in the country.”
Elite 2020 4-star California QB DJ Uiagalelei on his #LSU visit with OC Steve Ensminger
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) February 4, 2018
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