Among the Clemson commits in the 2022 class whom Clemson hosted for official visits this past weekend was Westlake (Texas) five-star quarterback Cade Klubnik
The Clemson Insider caught up with Klubnik about his official visit experience and more.
“Oh man, it was awesome,” Klubnik told TCI. “It was such a fun time. I would just say that [the highlight] of the visit was just getting a look around and kind of seeing the future of Clemson. Just to be around and grow those relationships deeper and to just spend that time with everybody, more time with the coaches and all the players.”
Klubnik has been ‘All In’ since he delivered his verbal pledge to Clemson back on March 2. He has never once wavered in his belief that Clemson is the place where he belongs, this past weekend’s official visit only confirmed that.
“It just made it feel even more right,” he added.
Now, who was Klubnik’s player host for his official visit? Will Swinney.
“Man, it was awesome,” Klubnik said of his experience with Swinney. “He was a great dude. We had a really good time. We just kind of hung out, played some card games. His tight circle was really good, a bunch of really good guys. It was awesome. It was really fun to hang out with them and see the kind of group that I’d want to be surrounded by.”
While Clemson handily defeated UConn this past Saturday in a 44-7 blowout, the weekend was about the official visitors. Klubnik, who has already immersed himself as a leader in this class, had a chance to be around his future teammates and get a glimpse of what’s to come when he arrives on campus in early 2022.
“I think they’re really excited about our class,” Klubnik said when asked what he heard from Clemson’s coaches on his visit. “We’re all really excited to kind of get there in January and get to work. I think they’re just pumped. I think we got a really, really good class that’ll be able to help a lot.”
It’s too early to tell just what kind of impact Klubnik will have on the field. As a mid-year enrollee, he’ll have an opportunity to learn the playbook before the start of spring practices. That said, he can certainly bring something from a leadership standpoint from Day 1.
“I feel like I’ve always kind of been a natural leader in everything that I do,” he said. “I feel like I’ll be able to be a leader in my class and just hopefully during the offseason find my place.”
Klubnik’s leadership qualities were on full display this past weekend. While that’s a given, it was something tangible to Clemson fans. It was his work behind the scenes, recruiting a priority target in Andre Greene, Jr.
Greene, who arrived following Clemson’s win over UConn, has developed a close bond with Klubnik. So much so that they stayed in connecting rooms this past weekend.
“I feel really good,” Klubnik said of the four-star wide receiver. “I think he had a great time. I love Andre. He’s a fun, energetic guy, but man, he’s a really, really good football player. He’ll be able to help out a ton. I’m feeling good about him, so we’re really hoping he makes the decision.”
Klubnik obviously did all he could and then some with Greene’s recruitment. If Greene elects to commit to Clemson on Wednesday, he’ll be a part of a confident class, led by Klubnik, that’s ready to come in and help the Tigers get back to college football’s highest stage.
“I was just talking to some players,” he said. “I think it’s gonna be really, really good for the program and the culture and moving forward. It just shows that winning doesn’t come easy. It’s hard and you can’t take it for granted. I think it’s gonna be a great offseason. It’s gonna be hard. It’s gonna be tough. I think it’s gonna be huge for this program and just a reminder of what the expectation is and how to get there.”
While a lot has been said in the public about Clesmon offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter with D.J. Uiagalelei’s struggles this season, Klubnik has a lot of faith in the coaching staff’s ability to develop quarterbacks.
“To say that two of the last three starting quarterbacks have gone to the league, not a lot of other people can say that,” he said. “They’ve got a QB history with Tajh [Boyd] and Deshaun [Watson] and Trevor [Lawrence]. They’ve got a QB history and they know how to coach QBs. I’m so excited to get there because the guys that I’ll be surrounded by are just a bunch of stud athletes. Just Coach Streeter and Coach Elliott and Coach Swinney, I’m so pumped to be able to be in those meetings and in those practices and learn more from them.”
Now that he’s back healthy, Klubnik still has some high school memories to enjoy and cherish, including leading Westlake to a State Championship, but he’s more than ready to officially call himself a Tiger, once January rolls around.
“I am so pumped,” he said.
Judging by the nature of their relationship, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Klubnik plans to room with Myrtle Beach (S.C.) four-star wide receiver Adam Randall, once they both arrive on campus.
Beyond Randall and potentially Greene, Klubnik has made relationships with each and every individual player in Clemson’s 2022 recruiting class. Sure, it’s his nature as a natural-born leader, but they’re all close with one another.
“We’re already super tight,” Klubnik said. “I think that’s huge. We are literally, all of us are already really good buds. I think that’s gonna be huge when it comes to moving in and just over the years. Being able to have relationships with each other already is gonna be huge.
“On defense, we got without a doubt, the best recruiting class when it comes to defense overall. Jihaad [Campbell], Daylen [Everette], Keon [Sabb], every single one of them, they’re all just studs. It’s gonna be dangerous for the next couple of years for anyone that’s going against our defense. I think when it comes to Adam and Collin [Sadler] and Blake Miller, just two studs upfront and Adam’s gonna be able to have a huge impact when it comes to the receiver room and, hopefully, Andre. I think we got a great class.”
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