It’s strange to think that the Clemson football program currently has the former No. 1 overall quarterback on the roster and the best might be yet to come.
Things aren’t necessarily panning out currently with D.J. Uiagalelei and while Clemson football fans should continue to pull for him to develop and come out a better player as a result of the adversity he has faced the first part of the 2021 season, there is hope on the horizon either way you look at it.
That hope is in the form in 5-star QB Cade Klubnik.
Cade Klubnik has the ‘It Factor’ that Clemson football desperately needs
When you look at that Clemson offense currently, one thing that is desperately missing is leadership. Uiagalelei and the whole host of veterans on that offense simply aren’t stepping up to the plate to be vocal leaders. That won’t be a problem with Klubnik.
We’ve had the opportunity to watch a couple of Klubnik’s high school games in full and view plenty of film on the quarterback and the things that stands out most is his winning mentality and leadership. He’s the unquestioned leader of that offense and on the biggest stage of them in Texas high school football, he made winning plays on the way to a state championship.
While his pure arm strength may not be on the same level as Uiagalelei, he does have other facets of the game– like his athleticism– where he will be able to perform more effectively in that Clemson offense.
But, most important is that ‘It factor.’
I want to give you an example.
From the time that Deshaun Watson stepped on the field in his freshman season, you knew that he was going to be special. Watson didn’t have the strongest arm and his measurables weren’t elite. But, that didn’t matter when it came to winning games on the field. Even though many looked down on him in the NFL Draft– even after all his success in college– Watson proved that he had more than enough talent to play and compete at the next level.
The same, in my opinion, is going to be true with Cade Klubnik.
Klubnik has that mentality where he’s going to come in and compete for the starting job right away. He’s not going to care that there are veterans who have been in the program longer. He’s not going to care that there are veterans who have been in the system longer.
When he gets on the field, he’s going to be the unquestioned leader and he’s going to command that respect– similar to the things we heard about Will Shipley– no matter if he’s a freshman or not.
No one here is saying that Uiagalelei is in danger of losing that starting position here months before Klubnik gets on campus, so don’t think that’s what we’re trying to say.
But, what we will say is that Klubnik shows those intangibles that Clemson football is sorely lacking right now, and he’s not going to come to Tiger Town with the intention of sitting on the bench. So, if the starting QB is DJ Uiagalelei next season, it’s going to be because he earned. Not because Klubnik gave it to him.