DJ Uiagalelei will be the top newcomer in the Pac-12 this season.

That’s according to Pac-12 Network studio analyst Nigel Burton. On the first pregame show of the 2023 season, Burton named the Oregon State quarterback as his pick for the best newcomer to the conference.

“We all know that the Beavs have gotten it done year after year without a consistent signal-caller. And now the man has arrived,” he said. “DJ Uiagalelei. I’m telling you, DJ is the man in Corvallis and I cannot wait. You talk about a guy who can make all the throws, mobile, the things that he adds to the equation for this Beaver offense with all the weapons they have coming back, a stingy defense led by Trent Bray. I’m telling you, everything is set up for DJ to be successful.”

Uiagalelei was a huge addition out of the transfer portal this offseason after making 28 starts in his three years at Clemson and being part of two ACC Championship teams.

The Beavers won 10 games a year ago with safe quarterback play. When Ben Gulbranson took over mid-year for Chance Nolan, the quarterback spot looked a lot like a game manager. With a star in the backfield in Damien Martinez, coach Jonathan Smith went out looking for a player who could add some dynamic ability to the pass game to complement the run game.

The 6-foot-4 passer has a chance to be exactly what Oregon State needs. He threw for 5,681 yards and 36 touchdowns in his 36 appearances at Clemson. He’s also totaled 913 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.

Uiagalelei and the Beavs begin the new season at home next Sunday, Sept. 3, against San Jose State.