CLEMSON, S.C. — The Clemson Tigers have a rich history of strong quarterback play, and the mantle will be passed to Cade Klubnik in 2023, a five-star prospect from the class of 2022 who took over for D.J. Uiagalelei as a starter the final two games last season.
Klubnik completed 64.1% of his passes as a starter in those contests, a 39-10 win over North Carolina and a 31-14 loss to Tennessee in the Orange Bowl.
He may have only completed one touchdown pass, and had two interceptions, but his two rushing touchdowns showed another element to his game, and there is a lot of optimism around the Tigers program that he can successfully lead this team the next few years.
However, that optimism isn't necessarily shared by everyone, and Locked on Clemson host Damian Parson has a lot to say about a recent article listing Klubnik as the 25th best quarterback in the country, behind two QBs (Ohio State's Kyle McCord and Georgia's Carson Beck) who have far less experience than he does.
"There's no way you're going to tell me two guys who have not started games and who do not have as many snaps as Cade Klubnik deserve to be in front of him?" Parson said. "What are we doing here?"
Clemson has been a hotbed of quarterback success since Trevor Lawrence put together one of the best college careers in recent memory, and Klubnik's pedigree (he was the second ranked quarterback in the class of 2022 behind Penn State's Drew Allar) and flashes of excellence last season should lead to a very solid first full season as the starter under coach Dabo Swinney and new offensive coordinator Garrett Riley.
It would be shocking to see Klubnik surpass veteran stars like Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Bo Nix, but there is plenty of reason to believe he can be one of the 20, and possibly even 10, best QBs in the country during the 2023 season.