The DJ Uiagalelei era at Clemson is in peril — for the Tigers’ game vs. Pitt, at least.
Following a shovel pass pick-six by the starting quarterback in the third quarter, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney made the decision to pull Uiagalelei for backup Taisun Phommachanh, who promptly led the team down for a field goal to make the score 21-10.
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Though Uiagalelei hasn’t exactly lit up scoreboards this season, no one could have expected his backup to be called into action, not unlike Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams coming in for Spencer Rattler vs. Texas.
That said, Phommachanh isn’t exactly a new face on the Clemson team. The redshirt sophomore has logged games in every season dating back to 2019, completing 19 of 39 passes for 148 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. He also has 21 rushes for 86 yards. Still, Swinney clearly needed a spark from his team considering Uiagalelei completed 97 of 174 passes (55.7 percent) for 974 yards and four touchdowns to three interceptions before Saturday’s game. Against Pitt, he completed 11 of 23 passes for 124 yards and two interceptions.
The change was not permanent, however, as he nearly threw an interception himself on the ensuing possession. Regardless of who finishes the game, Swinney has a potential decision to make at the quarterback position.
Until he makes that decision, here’s everything you need to now about Phommachanh:
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Taisun Phommachanh’s 247 rating
Phommachanh, who played at Avon Old Farms in Bridgeport, Conn., was the No. 216 overall player in the class of 2019, per 247Sports’ Composite rating. He was also the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback, the No. 2 player in the state of Connecticut and the Tigers’ ninth-ranked prospect in their class.
He trailed only Michigan signee Cornelius Johnson (No. 175 overall, No. 26 wide receiver) in the state of Connecticut. As far as dual-threat quarterbacks go, he trailed only Auburn’s Bo Nix, Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels and North Carolina’s Sam Howell.
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Taisun Phommachanh name pronunciation
According to his Clemson player bio, Phommachanh’s full name is pronounced “Tyson PUMA-chon.” It is Laotian in origin.
What are Taisun Phommachanh’s parents?
Taisun is the son of Sam and Jasmine Phommachanh, immigrants from Laos and Haiti, respectively. That makes him half-Laotian, half-Haitian. According to a report from the Hartford Courant (Conn.), his father works in real estate and his mother is a chef with a catering business, “Angel Face Catering.”