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Swinney praises quarterback commit, compares him to Deshaun Watson

Kim Montuoro, Contributor

In a stadium of over 70,000 people, Deshaun looks upon the roaring crowd during Clemson’s shutout of Ohio State Dec. 31. The Tigers went on to face the Alabama Crimson Tide, winning 35-31.

On Early National Signing Day, Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney had high praise for Clemson’s next five-star quarterback, Cade Klubnik. Among the praise, he even compared Klubnik to former Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. 

Klubnik is the top-rated quarterback in the class of 2022, according to 247sports, and he will give the Tigers more quarterback depth alongside DJ Uiagalelei and Hunter Helms.  

“He’s special, I mean, he’s magic,” Swinney said. “I mean, he reminds me so much of Deshaun. Just his traits, his attributes as a quarterback. Even his frame and his build coming out of high school, very similar. Cade’s faster probably than Deshaun but very, very similar skill sets.” 

Klubnik will enroll at Clemson in the spring, giving time for the coaching staff to evaluate the quarterback position for next fall. Although he will be a true freshman and Uiagalelei will be a junior, Klubnik has an opportunity to win the starting job if he can outperform Uiagalelei.  

Swinney also emphasized Klubnik’s ability to play on a big stage, a trait that will certainly help Klubnik as he transitions to the college level.  

“The biggest thing is this guy is out there playing in front of 30 plus thousand people at a Texas Stadium,” Swinney said. “He just has an unbelievable poise and presence and command.” 

The number of spectators will likely be even higher this Saturday, Dec. 18, when Klubnik and his high school team play in the 6A Texas High School Football State Championship game. Klubnik will be competing for his third state championship, all at Westlake High School.  

Clemson has been blessed with uber-talented Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence in the past, so if Klubnik is able to live up to Swinney’s high praise, the Tigers may have another star in the making. 

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