Around this time a year ago, when Cade Klubnik’s recruitment was just starting to pick up, Clemson came up during a conversation with his parents over the dinner table.
The Austin (Texas) Westlake quarterback had not yet heard from the Tigers at the time, but when his mom asked him about his dream school, it was Clemson that he named without hesitation.
“About a year ago, my mom and my dad and I are sitting at dinner, and my recruitment’s just kind of building up a little bit,” Klubnik told The Clemson Insider recently. “I had maybe four or five offers. My mom goes, ‘If you could play for anywhere in the country, where would you want to go play?’ And I hadn’t come in contact with them one time yet. My dream is to play at the highest level of college football as possible, and I was like, ‘Obviously I would want to go play for Clemson.’
“And I mean, it was just crazy, almost a year later, that I’m committing to go play for them.”
Klubnik, who has since collected over two dozen offers, committed to Clemson on March 2 – four days after receiving an offer from the Tigers – and has been loving life since jumping on board with Dabo Swinney’s program.
“It’s been great,” Klunik said. “Everything I’ve always dreamed of. It’s been awesome. It’s been super fun.”
Swinney was fired up when Klubnik gave him the good news earlier this month that he was shutting down his recruitment and joining Clemson’s 2022 class.
“He screamed, ‘Let’s go!’” Klubnik said. “He was pretty excited. We’ve built a really good relationship.”
Klubnik and his parents traveled to Clemson last fall to check out the campus and attend the Tigers’ game against Syracuse in October.
Even though Klubnik couldn’t meet the staff in person – and still hasn’t to this day due to the ongoing NCAA dead period, which has been in place for over a year because of COVID-19 – Klubnik knew after his experience on campus in Tigertown that it was a place he would want to be at if given the opportunity.
“Since I got there day one – I couldn’t even talk to the coaches and do all that and do the true visit like I would love to – I still got to experience what it was like in that town,” he said. “Getting to talk to students every day and just random people in restaurants and stuff, I felt like it was the place to be and just felt like it was home. And the relationship I’ve built with the coaches, there’s not another staff that I would want to grow a relationship with more and go play for. There wasn’t another group of people that I would rather do that for.”
Klubnik can’t wait to follow in the footsteps of Deshaun Watson, Trevor Lawrence and D.J. Uiagalelei as another star signal-caller in Clemson’s quarterback pipeline.
“You couldn’t name a better last three. You really can’t,” Klubnik said. “They’re really a QB factory.”
The Tigers are very excited about what they’re getting in Klubnik, who is ranked among the top five pro-style quarterbacks in the country by multiple recruiting services.
“From what they’ve told me, (they like) my style of play,” Klubnik said. “They think I’ll be able to be a mobile quarterback and escape some pressure. I’m not a base runner, but if I ever need to, I can make a play with my legs a little bit, just kind of get out of pressure and still make a throw, and I think they really like that. They think I’ll be able to make plays and escape the pocket sometimes and then be able to throw on the run if I need to. But I’m still that pocket presence and don’t get out of there unless I really need to. I can stay in the pocket, and I think that’s what they enjoy.”
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