He is only 13 years old and his name already precedes him. Most have a hard time trying to pronounce his last name Uiagalelei (Ui-a-galelei), they just know him as DJ. It is crazy to think that a 7th grader is already apart of local water cooler discussions but he is. The 6’2, 200 pounder born April 17, 2001, is rapidly showing up on everyone’s radar as the next big thing (to say the least). As the starting QB for Upland’s JAAF Midget team Upland Hurricanes, DJ led them to an undefeated championship season racking up 1,756 yards passing, 324 yards rushing, 34 TD’s, 2 INT, while only averaging about 5 pass attempts per game. Nonetheless earning him the high honor of being selected to play in the Youth All-American Bowl presented by Eastbay.
If you ask DJ, if he thinks he is the number one 7th grader in the country, with a big smile he will only humbly reply “hopefully or maybe”. I can honestly say after spending a few hours with him on a Sunday afternoon, he has not bought into the hype. He is focused on playing sports and just being a kid. He knows without a doubt he has talent and has a long way to go to fulfil his dreams of attending a University to expand on his favorite subject, (being math) to major in business. All the camps and showcases he has attended, he has yet to disappoint, wowing viewers with his footwork and big arm, already throwing a high school ball.
DJ looks to have a bright future ahead of him. Although he has another year of youth football to play before he enters high school, he keeps a busy schedule. Juggling, school, football, camps, and spending time with his friends he still finds time to play his true love, baseball, clocking a (80 mph) fastball for his 15U baseball team. Likely to be a two sport athlete DJ, will spend the upcoming football season playing for National Champ I.E. Ducks. This will certainly serve as a challenge for DJ, or just another opportunity to show his dominance having no other choice this year but to play with kids his own age for the first time.
The young man has a solid foundation for a family supporting whatever he chooses to do. By their own admission his father will tell anyone in a heartbeat “DJ is doing what DJ wants to do” even to the point his father has an agreement with his son, to not interfere or approach the field during football games. DJ and his family all have a loving relationship that allows him to be one of the coolest kids to talk with. No pressure rest upon his shoulders at this moment. Although day by day his name continues to rise, he simply gets to enjoy being a kid at the moment.
Only time will tell but, we could be looking at the future #1 high school recruit for class of 2020 already. At this point he does posses everything coaches are looking for, to represent their football programs. I look forward to following him this next football season, that hopefully will be topped off by playing in Florida for the Football Hotbed All American Game (fingers crossed).
Mr. DJ Uiagalelei, whatever you and your family decide for your future I’m sure success is to follow. Thank you for allowing me to get to know you and toss a couple balls on the field with you. Stay humble and continue to challenge yourself to be great on and off the field.
– Coach Flem.