The Pac-12 Conference has a number of returning starting quarterbacks expected to be among the best in college football this season, from reigning Heisman Trophy winner and USC star Caleb Williams to Washington’s Michael Penix Jr.

Throw Utah’s Cameron Rising and Oregon’s Bo Nix into that mix as well — all four of these quarterbacks threw for more than 3,000 yards last year, and each represents the leader of a program expected to contend for the conference championship.

One other team expected to play a significant role in the Pac-12 title chase, Oregon State, now has some clarity on its quarterback position.

Nate Johnson and Bryson Barnes in ‘dead heat’ for Utah’s backup quarterback job

Multiple news outlets reported Tuesday afternoon that former Clemson DJ Uiagalelei will start at QB for the Beavers this season — he transferred to Oregon State this offseason after starting 28 games over the past three seasons for the Tigers.

The Oregonian’s Nick Dasche, who first reported the news, said the 6-foot-4, 252-pound junior Uigalelei was informed Monday night that he would be the team’s starter, as he beat out fourth-year sophomore Ben Gulbranson and freshman Aidan Chiles for the position.

Uiagalelei, at one time a five-star recruit, played in 36 games from 2020-22 for Clemson. He threw for 5,681 yards and 36 touchdowns as a Tiger while also rushing for 913 yards and 15 touchdowns.

He went 22-6 as Clemson’s starter and is coming off his best statistical season, when Uiagalelei completed 61.9% of his passes and threw for 2,521 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Gulbranson started the final eight games for Oregon State last season and led the Beavers to a 7-1 record during that stretch, including a 30-3 victory over Florida in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Oregon State is one of five Pac-12 schools ranked in the preseason Associated Press poll. The Beavers are No. 18 and trail USC (No. 6), Washington (No. 10), Utah (No. 14) and Oregon (No. 15) in the polls.

Oregon State hosts Utah on Sept. 29 in a Friday night matchup at Reser Stadium.