Video: D.J. Uiagalelei highlightsSophomore signal caller to make his first start Friday night.
Sophomore quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei
of St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
will make the first start of his high school career Friday night.
Ranked No. 5 nationally by MaxPreps, Uiagalelei and Bosco will face league rival and No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
in a game sure to have national title implications.
Too much too soon for Bosco's young signal caller?
"We would not have it any other way," D.J.'s father David Uiagalelei said. "He is taking a business approach heading into this game. Listen, he could have probably started at 99 percent of schools last year. But we trusted the process and believed in challenging him. He has been preparing for this moment since he was seven years old."
It didn't look like his opportunity would come this year with Iowa State commitment Re-al Mitchell
handling the quarterbacking duties at Bosco. But Mitchell was ruled out yesterday due to an undisclosed injury.
Uiagalelei made waves on social media over the summer by sailing a pass 80 yards. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound phenom already has offers from Alabama and USC. He also has the attention of Major League Baseball after reportedly clocking an 86 mile per hour fastball in seventh grade.
Though he hasn't started a game, Uiagalelei has gained valuable experience this season. Trailing nationally-ranked St. John's (Washington, D.C.)
by 10 points in the second half back on Sept. 23, he came off the bench and led a pair of touchdown drives.
Through six games, Uiagalelei has completed 29 of 44 passes for 474 yards and seven touchdowns (against no interceptions). The big sophomore has also rushed for 86 yards.
St. John Bosco has won seven of the last eight against Mater Dei, which won last season's regular-season game. The Monarchs will look for two straight Trinity League wins over the Braves behind junior quarterback J.T. Daniels
(102 of 141, 1,629 yards, 22 TDs) and a dangerous group of receivers, the Monarchs are averaging nearly 50 points per game.
Friday's winner will have the inside track to claim the Trinity League title, but more important, a probable top seed heading into the Southern Section Pac-5 playoffs. The stage is set for a national showdown Friday night at El Camino College.
"I have 100 percent confidence that (Uiagalelei) is going to perform at a high level," St. John Bosco head coach Jason Negro said.