QB Cade Klubnik Red-Hot on Recruiting Trail Ahead of Spring Decision
John Garcia, Jr.
The final destination will be known in the coming months, but the number of options continues to increase.
Most would say it's a great problem for class of 2022 quarterback prospect Cade Klubnik to have. The Austin (Texas) Westlake star, who just led the program to a state championship in January, making up for an injury-shortened 2019 for the storied program that also produced Drew Brees and Nick Foles at the position.
A steady rise throughout the 2020 season, as both a passer and runner, upped his offer list with blue bloods prevalent most recently, including Michigan, Penn State, Florida and Texas A&M since taking the title. Texas, North Carolina and many others previously jumped in and Clemson may be the program set to join the mix despite all of the pandemic-related recruiting restrictions in place through April 15.
"I'm still learning every day," Klubnik told SI All-American. "Obviously it's been a pretty big challenge with not being able to meet coaches in person and to visit as many campuses as I want.
"This is an experience I've always dreamed of. It's insane, it's fun and been so crazy. It's a wild experience with COVID-19. A lot of Zoom calls..."
There is no official list of top programs, but communication between the 6-foot-3, 180-pound junior and select programs is increasing. It is likely to lead to a spring decision depending on any fluctuation on the offer list.
"There are five main points that I really look into in a school, I did it in the beginning and I really stick to it," he said. "Evaluating each school at every level, in each category. See how I can fit in there when talking to coaches, to the few schools that I've gotten to visit, and also just that gut feeling to see if this is the place I want to be.
"I'm trying to find out who is really genuine and not going over a script that they use with everybody."
Klubnik offered thoughts to SIAA on several of the programs he remains in communication with into the month of February.
Clemson: "I like them a lot. I've built a really good relationship with them since June or July, probably. I don't have an offer from there, yet, but I like their culture a lot. Their school, obviously their offense and they've got a great football program."
Florida: "I like Florida's OC a lot, and Coach (Dan) Mullen, they've got a really good group there. I'm liking their offense and I like the few times I've talked to them."
North Carolina: "I think they've got a good future ahead. They've been successful the past two years and are a program on the come-up. I like Coach (Mack) Brown a lot, I think he's a really good guy."
Penn State: "Coach (Mike) Yurich, their OC, was at Texas when they offered me. So when he went to Penn State he re-offered me at Penn State. I like him, he's a really good guy."
Texas: "Still learning a lot about their whole staff and all of that. I still feel like it's pretty new, but I'm liking them. I like their offense a ton. They take shots down the field, a lot like our offense here."
A decision could come sometime soon, Klubnik says, adding an end point before the summertime is ideal. He admits the final word on when will coincide with a gut feeling on when to make the call.
Either way, the Lone Star State star would be all but officially locking in a lifelong dream before he suits up to defend Westlake's state title in 2021.
"I've wanted to do this my whole life," he said. "I've always played quarterback and my ultimate goal is to play college football one day. I got to prove myself this year, it was a really cool experience that I'll never forget.
"Recruiting has just kind of happened; it kind of came with it."
As a junior, Klubnik registered a head-turning 35:3 touchdown to interception ratio while completing 67% of his passes in accounting for 50 total touchdowns (15 rushing). He was named MVP of the 6A state championship game against Southlake Carroll following an 18-of-20 passing performance.
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