One of the top quarterback prospects in the country, Clemson commit Cade Klubnik, was back on campus earlier this month for the Dabo Swinney Camp and the football program’s Elite Retreat recruiting event.
The visit allowed Klubnik to continue building relationships with the coaching staff and his fellow commits in the Tigers’ 2022 class, as well as some of their top targets, and the Austin (Texas) Westlake High School star had an even more enjoyable time at Clemson than he imagined he would.
It was Klubnik’s first chance to meet the coaches in person following the 14-month-long NCAA recruiting dead period that was finally lifted June 1.
“It was awesome,” Klubnik told The Clemson Insider. “Just so fun to be there and spend time with the coaches for once, finally get to shake their hand, give them a hug. It was a great weekend. It was better than I ever thought it would be.”
Klubnik was also on campus in April for Clemson’s spring game but wasn’t able to have in-person contact with the staff while on campus due to the dead period. So, his latest experience on campus around the coaches reaffirmed all the reasons why he committed to the Tigers this past March.
“It felt like home,” he said. “It felt like exactly what I thought it would feel like, and even better. So, I know that this is the place I’m supposed to be. With Coach Swinney and Coach (Brandon) Streeter and Coach (Tony) Elliott and just the whole staff, everybody, I feel so welcomed and I feel like this is really where I want to be and where I’m supposed to be.”
The people associated with the university and football program, especially the coaches, stand out the most to Klubnik when he thinks about his future college home.
“Honestly just the people,” he said. “I’ve gotten a huge sense of that over the past year while talking to the coaches over the phone. But just being able to be with them in person, see how much they care for people with the little things, it shows a lot and I’m just so excited to be in that program and just keep learning more from them.”
Clemson picked up a few more commitments following the Elite Retreat, bringing the 2022 class up to seven total pledges right now.
The future Tigers are all in a group chat and have already formed a strong bond with each other.
“We’ve got a great bond,” Klubnik said. “We’ve got a pretty big group chat right now. But we’re building the bond every day and building our relationships with each other. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun when the early enrollees get there in January. Just knowing that we all have a great relationship already, it’s not going to be anything new once we get up there. It’s something that we’ve been building, and just a lot of really good guys with great qualities. So, I’m really excited for that.”
Klubnik is among those in the class who plan to be midyear enrollees, and the coaches can’t wait to get him and the newest group of Tigers on campus for good in January.
“They were pretty excited for January when we’ll get up there,” Klubnik said. “I think we’re just excited to get going and start getting to work. But they were pumped and excited to finally meet each other.”
In the meantime, Klubnik is hard at work behind the scenes trying to help the Tigers add more top-notch talent to the 2022 class.
Klubnik, who has been one of Clemson’s most active recruiters since jumping on board with the program, named some of the targets he is staying in the ears of.
“Still working on [Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star defensive end] Jihaad Campbell and [IMG Academy four-star cornerback] Daylen Everette and then obviously [Jennings (La.) four-star running back] Trevor Etienne and [Cumming (Ga.) West Forsyth four-star tight end] Oscar Delp,” he said. “So, definitely working on them pretty good.”
Klubnik is ranked as high as the nation’s No. 4 quarterback and the No. 28 overall prospect in the 2022 class by Rivals.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect led Westlake High School to its second straight 6A state championship as a junior last season, completing 68 percent of his passes for 3,495 yards and 35 touchdowns with just three interceptions while also rushing for 583 yards and 15 more scores on the ground.
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