Cade Klubnik, one of the top signal-callers in the class of 2022, has seen the Tigers play in person twice this season – one time in an ACC stadium and once in an SEC stadium.
Prospects are not permitted to make recruiting visits right now during the ongoing NCAA dead period that was implemented in March because of coronavirus concerns, but the four-star quarterback from Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, attended Auburn’s game against Texas A&M last Saturday as a spectator in the stands after traveling to Clemson earlier this season for a regular visit to watch the team take on Syracuse at Death Valley.
“I would say the campuses are very similar,” Klubnik told The Clemson Insider, comparing his trips to Clemson and Auburn. “But I would say they are a little different, just the atmosphere and kind of like the play style. They’re different schools, so there can be a lot to be different. But I enjoyed Clemson a lot, for sure, as well as Auburn.”
Looking back on his trip to Clemson the weekend of its Oct. 24 game against Syracuse, Klubnik cited some things that stood out to him about the experience.
“Just like the culture of the school,” he said. “Everybody’s so nice and just great people and just a really faith-based school and good people and obviously great academics and a great football team. So, it was a really cool campus and a really cool town that it’s in and a really cool area.”
Klubnik (6-2, 180) couldn’t talk to any of Clemson’s coaches while on campus due to the recruiting restrictions in place, though he has spoken with quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter a couple of times over the phone since he was in Tigertown.
“They’re liking what they’re seeing,” Klubnik said of what he has heard from Streeter. “It’s just hard without getting to talk to people in person and everything. But just keep going and just be patient, and we’ll see what happens.”
In eight games as a junior this season, Klubnik has completed 66 percent of his passes for 1,849 yards and 19 touchdowns with only one interception while leading his team to an 8-0 record so far. He has also rushed for 372 yards and nine more scores on 51 carries, averaging 7.3 yards per attempt on the ground.
What about Klubnik’s game as a quarterback has caught Streeter’s eye when he turns on the film?
“He likes my presence in the pocket and just being able to put the ball on people and my accuracy,” Klubnik said, “and being able to make plays with my legs, too.”
As things stand now, Klubnik says his recruitment is “still pretty open.”
“I mean, I’ve got a few (schools) that I’m talking to more than others, but Clemson’s definitely one of those,” he said.
Klubnik, who has collected around two dozen scholarship offers, named Auburn, Georgia and North Carolina as a few of the programs he has been in frequent contact with besides Clemson.
Clemson has not yet pulled the trigger on an offer to Klubnik, but if that changes moving forward, an offer from the Tigers would have a significant impact on his recruitment.
“I think it would be a big factor, for sure,” he said. “It would be pretty big for me and definitely a big one to think about, for sure.”
Looking ahead, Klubnik is eyeing a potential commitment decision sometime this spring.
“Maybe sometime around April, March or May, somewhere around there,” he said. “I’m not a hundred-percent sure, but maybe March or April.”
When the time comes for Klubnik to choose a school, several factors will play an important role in his college choice.
“Definitely just a great culture to the school, somewhere I can grow as a person, too, and then definitely just great academics for sure and then consistency of success when it comes to the football team,” he said. “I want to go somewhere to win some ball games.”
Klubnik is ranked as high as the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback and No. 115 overall prospect in the 2022 class by ESPN.
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