Clemson hoping to get Klubnik 'as much opportunity as we can'

Clemson hoping to get Klubnik 'as much opportunity as we can'

Football

Clemson hoping to get Klubnik 'as much opportunity as we can'

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Nothing has changed with Clemson’s quarterback situation with less than three weeks remaining before the Tigers’ Labor Day opener.

But even if things don’t change at the top of the depth chart throughout the course of the season, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney still envisions freshman Cade Klubnik seeing the field as a change-of-pace quarterback.

Of course, the true extent of Klubnik’s role in Year 1 will largely be dictated by how D.J. Uiagalelei performs in front of him.

“Obviously (Uiagalelei) has got to go play well,” Swinney said Wednesday following Clemson’s final full-scale scrimmage of preseason camp. “Just like anybody else, you’ve got to go play well. But we certainly hope to get Cade as much opportunity as we can.”

Swinney had mixed reviews for both signal callers in assessing their play Wednesday but said the good outweighed the bad much like it has for the majority of camp. While Swinney has been impressed with Uiagalelei’s newfound mobility after the junior signal caller dropped roughly 30 pounds this offseason, Klubnik, a more true dual threat, possesses the kind of speed that no other quarterback on the roster has, something he put on display again during Wednesday’s scrimmage.

During an interview with The Clemson Insider this spring, Swinney likened the Tigers’ quarterback situation to that of 2020 when Uiagalelei, then a true freshman, played in 10 games as Trevor Lawrence’s backup, two of which were starts against Boston College and Notre Dame while Lawrence was in COVID-19 protocols. Swinney reiterated that parallel Wednesday, noting that getting Klubnik playing time this fall is as much about the future as the present.

“(Playing Klubnik) is something we need to do just like we wanted to get D.J. in as much as we could and as often as we could Trevor’s last year,” Swinney said. “D.J. is going to graduate in December. He has big goals and aspirations, and he knows what he’s got to go do. He’s just got to go do it, but hopefully we’ll be able to get Cade as much opportunity as we can.

“D.J.’s the starter. He’s earned that, and it’s up to him to continue to earn it every week.”

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