Clemson football: Cade Klubnik and Toriano Pride listed among top 50 newcomers

Clemson football will likely rely on a few true freshmen in 2022 and to that end two of the members of the 2022 class were listed among the top 50 college football newcomers by ESPN.

Toriano Pride came in at number 36th on the list and was the 80th ranked commitment overall in the class of 2022 per, the 8th best cornerback and number 3 player in the state of Illinois.

With the loss of Mario Goodrich, Andrew Booth and Nolan Turner the back end of the Clemson defense will need to be revamped.  Pride is thought to have solid coverage skills, but will obviously need to adjust to the college game as most defensive backs do.  For what it’s worth, Pride was projected as a second day NFL draft pick, in round two to three.

Two spots below Pride at number 36 is Klubnik, who finished as the number 6 overall recruit in the class, the top quarterback and the top player in the state of Texas.

With the questions surrounding returning signal caller D.J. Uiagalelei the Tigers needed to have better options than they did in 2021.  They have that and perhaps more in Klubnik, who hails from a high school, Westlake, in Austin that has a pedigree like no other: Drew Brees, Nick Foles, Sam Ehlinger and others have quarterbacked the Chaparrals over the years.

Two Clemson football freshmen are among the top 50 newcomers in college football

Klubnik is projected as  first round NFL pick and was compared to Zack Wilson of the New York Jets on his profile.

The other interesting thing in the article to me, and something I’ve mentioned multiple times, is the effect the transfer portal is having on high school players.  The list highlights “newcomers” and includes transfers and the top 15 players listed are transfers as are 18 of the top 20.

The second half of the list is dominated by high school players, and is almost exclusively prep players towards the end, but it once again shows the effect that the transfer portal is having on high school athletes.

Without the transfers, Pride and Klubnik would be the 11th and 12th ranked players on the list.