Packer wowed by Klubnik, says it's 'game on' in Tiger Town

Packer wowed by Klubnik, says it's 'game on' in Tiger Town


Packer wowed by Klubnik, says it's 'game on' in Tiger Town


Before enrolling at Clemson on Sunday to start his career as a Tiger, Cade Klubnik shined in the All-American Bowl on Saturday in San Antonio while playing against some of the nation’s top talent.

The five-star quarterback from Austin (Texas) Westlake High School got the start for Team West and threw a touchdown pass on each of his team’s first two possessions, including an absolute 24-yard dime to four-star wide receiver C.J. Williams on the West team’s first drive.

Overall, Klubnik completed 12 of his 18 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns while leading the West team to a 34-14 win over Team East in the 21st annual all-star high school football game.

On the Packer and Durham show on ACC Network this week, Mark Packer discussed Klubnik’s impressive performance in the All-American Bowl and talked about the looming quarterback battle that will take place this spring between Klubnik and rising junior D.J. Uiagalelei.

“I heard a lot about him, decided to watch some of this All-American Bowl on Saturday, and holy mackerel, can this kid play,” Packer said of Klubnik. “Dude, he just has great touch, athletic… You know what, spring practice is going to be interesting down in Tiger Town.”

Klubnik — the nation’s top-ranked quarterback in the 2022 class — was named the All-American Bowl’s Player of the Year during Saturday’s game after completing 71.3 percent of his passes for 3,251 yards and 43 touchdowns against just three interceptions as a senior in 2021. He also rushed 70 times for 465 yards and 12 scores while leading Westlake to a 16-0 record and its third consecutive state championship.

Uiagalelei, meanwhile, completed 55.6 percent of his passes for 2,246 yards and nine touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 13 games during his first full season as Clemson’s starting quarterback after taking over for the departed Trevor Lawrence. A former five-star prospect himself, Uiagalelei also rushed for 308 yards and four scores on 105 carries this past season.

“D.J. Uiagalelei and Cade Klubnik, game on to see who’s going to be the starting quarterback in Tiger Town,” Packer said. “Of course, D.J.’s going to have the experience. He’ll get the nod on that front. But I think ole Dabo found himself another quarterback, that’s what I think. Kid was really, really good Saturday.”

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