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‘I’m playing like me again’: Klubnik entering summer with sky-high confidence

Matt Mynes // Photo Editor

Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik (2) on the sidelines during Clemson’s spring game on April 15, 2023. 

After Cade Klubnik was named the starting quarterback for the Tigers following the ACC Championship, the collegiate football world was buzzing around the freshman. With all this buzz comes a lot of potential pressure for the new signal-caller. 

However, the rising sophomore reached a high in confidence following his play in Clemson’s spring game last Saturday. 

“I would just say I’m playing like me again,” Klubnik said. “I just feel comfortable. I feel comfortable stepping out there.”

The young quarterback completed 18 of 33 passing attempts for 190 yards for Team White. He also threw two interceptions against the first-team defense and gave credit to defensive backs Andrew Mukuba and R.J. Mickens, who caught his two interceptions, as well as Nate Wiggins, who tipped one of his passes before it was picked off. 

“Our DBs are the best that I’ve ever seen them play,” Klubnik said. “Sometimes, you just have to hand it to them. They made a great play.”

Like Klubnik, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is unfazed by his starting quarterback’s two turnovers and raved about his strengths in the scrimmage. 

“He made some great off-schedule plays, and he extends plays,” Swinney said. “That’s what I love to see. All the rest of it will come together in the way it needs to.”

A large focus of spring camp has been the emphasis on the offensive line. Despite missing three starting offensive linemen on the first-team offense, Klubnik likes what is happening in front of him. 

“Overall, I feel like we have great protection up front,” he said. “I felt like I had a lot of time.”

Although wide receivers Beaux Collins and Adam Randall did not dress on Saturday, Klubnik remains optimistic about the potential the team has in the pass-catching department. The Tigers’ receiving core has been an important focus for Clemson’s new offensive coordinator, Garrett Riley. 

“We’ve gotten little glimpses of it over the past couple of weeks, and it’s going to be fun,” Klubnik said. “It’s going to be nice to have Beaux back, and we still have seven scholarship receivers right now, and that’s a lot.”

With fall camp in his sights, the young field general is looking to take a stronger approach as a leader before the regular season begins.

“I just can’t wait to lead this offense and lead this team throughout the summer,” Klubnik said. “I think the summer is where the team really transforms.”

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Griffin Barfield, Asst. Sports Editor
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