The Clemson football program may not be bringing in the next No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft with their 2022 QB commit, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t find a good one who could potentially bring the Tigers back to a National Championship.
Cade Klubnik has been one of the biggest risers in recruiting rankings in the 2022 cycle and is currently ranked as the No. 3 overall QB in the nation by the 247 Sports’ Composite Player Rankings. Rivals has him rated as a 5-star and the No. 1 overall QB in the cycle, as well.
For obvious reasons, Clemson football fans are excited to see Klubnik arrive on campus in January and he’s drawing comparisons from many fans to Trevor Lawrence.
The truth is that those comparisons don’t really match the talent or demeanor of Klubnik, but there is another recent Tiger great who draws a much more accurate comparison.
Clemson football might have the next Deshaun Watson on its hands with Cade Klubnik
We went back and watched film on both Klubnik and Deshaun Watson in high school and came to this conclusion: It’s uncanny the amount of similarities the two players possess.
When looking strictly at high school film, Klubnik has the stronger arm of the two but both guys do an excellent job of extending plays with their legs and activating their respective offenses in the running game. One thing that’s extremely noticeable between the two players is how they scramble out, don’t panic and continue to look downfield, going through their reads. That makes them dangerous because the defense knows they can take off and run at anytime, but they’re still trying to get the ball to their receivers.
When Watson arrived on campus, it was easy to identify that ability to make plays. He threw accurate passes and did an excellent job activating that offense. Now, as we look at Klubnik’s film, we see some of the same abilities and, honestly, it looks like he is more refined than Watson coming out of high school.
But, the similarities don’t stop with physical ability.
One of the best attributes of Deshaun Watson was the fact that he was a leader and a winner. He just garnered respect from his teammates almost immediately and while he was quiet during the first portion of his career, he grew into the role of a vocal leader.
There’s something to be said about a player who is a winner. Well, that’s exactly what Cade Klubnik is. He finds ways to win games and doesn’t back down from any challenge. He is a vocal leader on that team and he is widely respected. Don’t think that won’t translate over to the Clemson football program when arrives.
Check out this quote from 247 Sports’ analyst Brandon Huffman that exemplifies what we’re talking about with Klubnik:
“He has a tight, compact delivery and can throw on the run. He’s done it against good competition. At Elite 11, he was the guy every day, consistently. There would be one guy who would be awesome one day and the next day would fizzle or would fizzle then be great, Cade was the straight line alpha the whole time and that was with Ewers and those other guys there. You could see in 7-on-7 that he had a commanding presence to him without being obnoxious. Other guys liked being around him.”
We’re not saying that Klubnik is going to lead Clemson to two National Championship games and leave the program as a legend like Deshaun Watson did. But, we are going to say that we see a lot of the attributes that made Watson so successful in Klubnik.