Dabo Swinney names Cade Klubnik starter for Orange Bowl
While Dabo Swinney gave quarterback DJ Uiagalelei every chance to fend off the superstar recruit, his patience ran out during the ACC Championship Game. Clemson switched to Klubnik and never looked back, capturing a title in dominating fashion and showing off why their future is more than bright.
During his post-game press conference, the decision was easier than ever for Swinney — Klubnik will be their guy for the Orange Bowl.
“Cade man, he was ready. You got a chance to see what he can do, and he played with rhythm,” explained Klubnik. “Guys made plays for him. You see he’s really, really fast. Can really make plays with his legs. Think he might’ve been our leading — we didn’t really rush the ball very much, but I think he might’ve been our leading rusher on top of that. It was a great night, and again a glimpse to our future, and what it looks like at Clemson. So I’m really happy for him, and he’ll be — you know, he’s earned the opportunity to start.
“We’ve got a few weeks here, whoever we play in the Orange Bowl. I’m excited to see him continue to build on it, and again build, have a great finish and build some momentum going into next year.”
While Klubnik made appearances sparingly throughout the season, Saturday’s showdown with North Carolina was his first extended action, and he delivered and then some. Klubnik completed 20-of-24 passes for 279 passing yards and a touchdown, while adding 30 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown to his total, as well.
Coming out of Westlake (TX) as a member of the Class of 2022, Klubnik was a five-star recruit, per the On3 Consensus. The Clemson star was the No. 18 recruit nationally, the No. 4 recruit out of Texas and the No. 1 quarterback in the entire nation.
Cade Klubnik looks special. Clemson is off and running once again, and their march to get back to the College Football Playoff once again will be fascinating next season.
However, they’ll enjoy the chase of some tasty oranges, for now.