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With huge playoff game coming Friday, St. John Bosco’s DJ Uiagalelei looks like Southern California football’s ‘next big thing’

By in Press Enterprise on November 23, 2017

By Mike Guardabascio

The sports world is always in pursuit of the “nextbig thing.” Attention, world — turn your eyes toward Bellflower.

St. John Bosco High sophomore quarterback DJ Uiagalelei is a 6-foot-4, 240-pound phenom with a winning smile, a humble personality — and a bazooka for an arm.

RELATED: VIDEO Director’s Cut: St. John Bosco Football vs. Corona Centennial 2016

“He checks all the boxes in terms of an ideal player,” said Bosco coach Jason Negro. “He’s a gifted kid, physically. If he continues to trend the way he has with his work ethic and his commitment, I don’t know if there is a ceiling for his potential.”

St. John Bosco quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei throws a pass against Mater Dei during their game in Torrance, Calif., on Friday, October 13, 2017. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Uiagalelei has been known in youth sports circles as a prodigy since he was a young child—at nine years old he was playing Pop Warner with seventh and eighth graders, and he was offered a scholarship by USC while still in middle school. Friday night he steps onto the biggest stage of his young life as Bosco hosts Corona Centennial in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinals at Cerritos College at 7:30 p.m.

Negro knows what he’s talking about — he coached the last “next big thing” out of Southern California, quarterback Josh Rosen, now a junior at UCLA and projected as a top pick in next year’s NFL Draft. The similarities don’t end at physical abilities, according to Negro — he said that Uiagalelei reminds him of Rosen because of how grounded his family keeps him.

“It’s not in my hands, it’s not on my time, it’s on God’s time.”

D.J. Uiagalelei | St. John Bosco quarterback

“We kept him out of football his eighth grade year,” said DJ’s […]    

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