Quarterback Cade Klubnik will be taking over the starting quarterback position from DJ Uiagalelei for Clemson Football in 2023. Transfer quarterback Paul Tyson, true freshman Christopher Vizzina and former walk-on Hunter Helms will back up Klubnik this season.
All of these players can return in 2024. Klubnik won’t be eligible for the NFL for two more seasons. Contrary to popular belief, Tyson isn’t just a one-year rental. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining. He redshirted in 2019 and did not play in 2020, which didn’t count toward eligibility regardless. Following action in 2021 and 2022, he can return in 2024 as a Super Senior if he chooses.
Thus far, Clemson has not received a commitment from a quarterback in the Class of 2024. Four targets – DJ Lagway (Florida), Jadyn Davis (Michigan), Walker White (Auburn), and Air Noland (Ohio State) – all committed elsewhere.
While there are quarterbacks available that the Tigers could recruit, the notion gaining the most steam is that Clemson may pass on adding anyone to the QB room in this class. There are a couple of reasons for this thought.
Clemson has received a commitment for a 2025 quarterback. Quarterback Blake Hebert announced his commitment on June 16th. Knowing a 4-star prospect will be coming in one to two years makes it a bit easier to not worry about adding a new quarterback for the beginning of the 2024 season.
Following the spring game, the vibe from the coaching staff is that they would like to redshirt Vizzina. He can still get snaps in four games in 2023 while protecting a season of eligibility.
If there is an unexpected departure following the 2023 season, the transfer portal is a way that the Tigers can fill the void. It might not be the coaching staff’s favorite way to add to the roster, but it does help mitigate the risk of not taking a quarterback during this cycle.
Not taking a quarterback in the 2024 class could be risky for Clemson Football
There is logic in not taking a quarterback unless the staff is 100% certain the prospect will be able to compete for meaningful minutes at some point during his career. There is no point in taking a player that will simply be taking up a scholarship.
On the other hand, there are no guarantees that things will work out the way we expect.
There is no guarantee that Hebert will be a part of the 2025 class. His commitment is a verbal only and can’t be made official until December 2024. There is no reason to believe he will de-commit, but many things can happen over the next seventeen months. If offensive coordinator Garrett Riley elects to take a head coaching job elsewhere after the 2023 season, Hebert might rethink his recruitment.
There is always the chance that multiple quarterbacks decide to leave after this upcoming season. If Tyson decides to start his life after football, and Helms decides he wants to seek a place with a higher likelihood of playing time (Helms also has multiple years of eligibility remaining), suddenly the Tigers find themselves with only two scholarship quarterbacks for 2024. Transfers become a must instead of a possibility. They might even need to find two if they want to be secure in case they don’t find another diamond in the rough walk-on.
Even if the odds say that the Tigers will be alright if they don’t take a quarterback in the 2024 cycle, it is still risky.