FSU Transfer Portal QB Comparison: Cam Ward vs. DJ Uiagalelei

    Cam Ward and DJ Uiagalelei have been revealed as FSU transfer portal targets at QB. Which passer would be the best fit for the Seminoles in 2024?

    The Florida State Seminoles have shown interest in two of the most prestigious passers in the transfer portal: Washington State’s Cam Ward and Oregon State’s DJ Uiagalelei.

    What would these two quarterbacks offer Mike Norvell’s squad, and who’s the better option?

    FSU Transfer Portal Options: Cam Ward, DJ Uiagalelei Generating Interest

    With the Jordan Travis era at Florida State closing after the 2023 season, the Florida State Seminoles have already shown a heavy interest in restocking the QB position with a top talent.

    Talent is by no means in short supply in the transfer portal. Dozens of passers have entered the ranks already. But two QBs in particular have separated themselves at the top of Florida State’s wish list: Cam Ward and DJ Uiagalelei.

    Within the last week, reports have revealed that the Seminoles have official visits scheduled with Ward and Uiagalelei — a development that tells of mutual interest between the QBs and the Florida State program.

    MORE: College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Other Power 5 programs are also in the mix, but Florida State is a more appealing destination than most. The Seminoles went 13-0 in 2023 and won the ACC. They were arguably deserving of a CFB Playoff spot, but Travis’ injury left them off the committee’s grid.

    Florida State could lose an abundance of talent this offseason. Players like Jared Verse, Keon Coleman, Trey Benson, and Johnny Wilson are all expected to be early-round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, and other veterans like Jaheim Bell, Robert Scott Jr., Braden Fiske, Fabien Lovett, Jarrian Jones, and Renardo Green will also be in the draft pool.

    But suppose Norvell proved anything in the 2023 offseason. In that case, he can reload the roster quickly each year via high school recruiting and the transfer portal, and he has the staff in place to maximize his players and remain competitive.

    His transfer portal puzzle is still being built for 2024, but either Ward or Uiagalelei could be the first piece.

    Is Cam Ward or DJ Uiagalelei a Better Fit for Florida State?

    On the surface, Ward and Uiagalelei both present appeal for Florida State. They’ve taken different paths to get where they are, but both are passers with natural talent and proven Power 5-level production.

    Ward was a Texas product and a star at Incarnate Word before leaping Washington State in 2022. In two years with the Cougars, Ward completed 643 of 982 passes for 6,968 yards, 48 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions.

    Meanwhile, Uiagalelei was a five-star recruit from Bellflower, California, and the prized acquisition of the Clemson Tigers in the 2020 cycle. He struggled in his first year as the full-time starter in 2021 but progressed in 2022 with over 3,000 total yards and 29 total touchdowns.

    In 2023, Uiagalelei joined Jonathan Smith at Oregon State and put together another solid season, completing 180 of 315 attempts for 2,638 yards, 21 touchdowns, and seven interceptions while rushing for 219 yards and six additional scores.

    Stylistically, Ward and Uiagalelei aren’t as similar as their career arcs would imply. Ward is more of a savvy ball handle and creator who has high-end change-of-direction, arm elasticity, and fearlessness when taking chances on tight-window throws.

    Uiagalelei, at 6’4″, 250 pounds, is a more imposing player, and a more physical runner, with a rocket arm to match. But at the same time, he isn’t quite as reliable within the pocket. He’s not as accurate as Ward or as fluid with his mechanics, and he might not be as consistent as a distributor.

    Both players have positive and negative qualities to take into account.

    Still, the question Florida State may want to ask when deciding between them is this: Who does a better job of allowing you to compete again in 2024 without missing a beat — especially when so much talent is moving around?

    Asking that specific question, the answer might be Ward. Ward still has questions about his maturity and decision-making as a passer. At Washington State, he proved that he could handle high volumes as a passer, create in the pocket when pressure arrived, and make jaw-dropping throws with his situational precision.

    Uiagalelei has just as much upside with his toughness, running ability, and arm talent. But suppose the Seminoles enter a situation where they need their passing game to move the chains, generate momentum, and erase a deficit. In that case, Ward’s superior distribution ability might be the difference.

    Ultimately, Ward and Uiagalelei are sound investments for a team looking to re-invest in top-end talent at the QB position.

    Seeing how each QB checks the talent and experience boxes, the decision may come down to how each QB meshes with Norvell and the current staff.

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

    Related Articles