Video: Bosco backup QB with 85-yard throw
D.J. Uiagalelei will be a backup this season but he has a huge arm.
He stands 6-foot-5, weighs 240 pounds, throws the ball at least 80 yards, Alabama and USC are among his 10 college offers and he's only 16-years-old. D.J. Uiagalelei
might be the best and most interesting backup quarterback in the country.
On Wednesday at a quarterback camp in Southern California, the rising St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
sophomore was shown all over the internet hitting the crossbar with a toss from the 35-yard line — on the other side of the 50.
That took some of the attention from Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.)
senior Justin Fields
, who just this week moved up as the No. 1 recruit in the country by 247Sports. At the same camp, Fields was filmed throwing a ball that landed 75 yards away.
"He's a big, massive, athletic kid with a ton of arm strength," said Bosco coach Jason Negro of Uiagalelei. "Better than that, he's a great kid from a great family and a great teammate."
The problem — or advantage — for the big, likeable kid is that he plays behind 5-10, 190-pound Re-al Mitchell
, the ultra-speedy and athletic Iowa State commit who last season as a junior led the 13-2 Braves to a California Open Division title and No. 6 national ranking.
Mitchell threw for 2,932 yards and 30 touchdowns and ran for 1,058 and 15 more scores in Bosco's high-octane zone-read attack.
Uiagalelei threw for more than 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns on the Bosco freshman team last season, including wins over Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and Centennial (Corona, Calif.).
"He pretty much dominated frosh games," Negro said.
Those games were on Thursday and he suited up for the Braves on Friday but didn't take any snaps.
He definitely will this season and be a significant contributor, Negro said.
But Mitchell is clearly still the starter.
"Our stance as coaches has always been whoever is in position to help us win will play. Re-al is our guy. He's proven what he can do. But there will definitely be moments for D.J. to play," Negro said.
Uiagalelei comes from a football family. His uncle Iona Uiagalelei is associate head coach at Mt. San Antonio Junior College in nearby Walnut. He was too big to play as an eighth grader in youth leagues, according to Negro, before arriving at Bosco at more than 240 pounds.
He's also a promising baseball product. Uiagalelei was clocked at 86 miles per hour two years ago. He belted seven homers last year on the freshman squad — and MLB scouts attended some of his games.
"He's grown in height a little, slimmed down definitely and is athletic enough to run the zone read," said Negro, comparing him in size and athleticism to former Bosco quarterback and Heisman candidate Josh Rosen. "He gives us a much different look than Re-al but both are very capable of running the offense. It's a great combination to have fortunately."
More fortunate is how Mitchell and Uiagalelei get along, according to Negro.
"Re-al has been a great mentor to D.J.," Negro said. "D.J. is very laid back and has a great personality. All the kids love him. Re-al and D.J. feed off of each other. At some point there will definitely be a passing of the torch."
With another challenging schedule, including a season-opener at St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
, the Braves will likely need both talents throughout the season.
In the meantime, Uiagalelei, who also played varsity basketball and baseball as a freshman, is gaining attention online and from colleges. He received his first college offer from Oregon State as an eighth-grader. In addition to USC and Alabama, he has offers from Utah, San Jose State, Oregon, Fresno State, Brigham Young, Arizona State and UCLA.
He already gets peppered with questions about his college plans even though he hasn't taken a varsity high school snap. Negro said Uiagalelei always stays humble, humorous and loyal with his replies.
"He tells them he's playing for his uncle at Mt. Sac," Negro said.