Cade Klubnik is one of the most highly-recruited junior quarterback prospects in America, collecting more than 30 scholarship offers from programs coast to coast. He has agreed to give Sports Illustrated exclusive access into his world by chronicling everything from his experience as a high profile recruit to his home life and preparation for his senior season.
I've known I've wanted to do this my whole life, to go and win a state championship. It started a long time ago, to be honest. The work and all of that, the mindset, the want-to, started a long time ago.
I've always played quarterback and the ultimate goal was to play college football one day. I feel like I've worked really hard for that.
First things first, I had to go win the starting job. I end up doing that and we had just a great team last year (2019). I was on varsity as a sophomore, I think I started about six games and then I ended up getting hurt. When I came back, the other guy took over and ended up finishing it for us. He did a great job.
This year was like my year to kind of show everybody what I was about. To prove myself, and I did it this year. It was a really cool experience that I'll never forget.
I feel like I've always wanted to do this. Recruiting has kind of come with it, it just kinda happened. Which sounds...not cocky but I'm not the guy that's in love with the recruiting process if you know what I mean. There's guys that are in love with the recruiting process and care more about talking to colleges every single day, talking to reporters and stuff -- instead of their own high school teammates and talking high school ball.
I love being around my teammates and playing with my friends. Obviously I love talking to coaches and that whole experience, it's what I've always dreamed of, but I think I'm really enjoying where I'm at right now. Living where my head is and where my feet are. I think that's just helped me be good every day.
I actually wrote a paper about this about two and a half years ago. My older brother played college football. He played receiver here with Sam Ehlinger, who played quarterback at Texas. My brother Reed broke every receiving record here at Westlake. 6-3, you know, white receiver. Didn't really pass the eye test. He went on the play four years at Yale and broke every receiving record there.
When he went and played and I went to his first game at Yale, I kind of went 'dang.' This dream of mine instantly turned into a goal of mine. I instantly knew that it was possible. I could visualize somebody that I know actually doing it. That was really cool to experience and it just flipped the switch like, 'alright, let's go!'
Ever since then, where I'm at right now is the goal I've always worked for. But we're not done yet.
I've been playing quarterback since I was three years old. Never played another position. I've always done it, always wanted to do it and never thought in my mind to change position. I love it so much, everything about it. It's without a doubt the hardest position in sports and I love it because there's no certainty. It's just a job like no other. There's no consistency.
If you're playing receiver, you can run the same four routes in a row. At QB, you'll never do the same thing twice in a row. I think it's just really fun. The leadership part is what I love doing, just leading my guys. Having that brotherly love, it's really cool.
I think my work ethic is a pretty big part of it -- which sounds weird. It's hard to say you have a great work ethic without actually getting to show everybody, but I think I'm just the type of guy that's never satisfied. Literally. People say that all the time but...I had a pretty good state championship game. Went 18-for-20 but the rest of the night, going to bed, I was bugging myself about those two balls that I missed.
It's that type of thing. I just want to go be better. I had the best game and best season of my life but I'm not satisfied and happy with it as can be because I know I can be better. As a quarterback, my leadership, my work ethic and my want-to for the game describe me. I hate losing. I hate losing more than anything. When it comes to playing the game I think I have pretty good accuracy, the ability to put touch on the ball and deliver catchable passes.
I'm still learning every day. It's been pretty cool, it's been fun. It's been a fun experience. It's insane, so fun, so crazy and a wild experience with COVID.
A lot of Zoom calls...but it's been pretty cool.
When the time is right to make a decision, I'll just kind of know. When I just kind of feel like I'm 100% on this is where I wanna go, I don't want to be iffy because it's a huge decision, that's where I'll go.
It will be, at the latest, May.
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