Cade Klubnik: Four Surefire Areas of Improvement for Clemson’s Quarterback in 2024

Cade Klubnik is entering his junior season, and second campaign as QB1 for Clemson football. The 2023 season was one of ups and downs for Cade, with games plagued by inconsistency and rushed on-field judgement from the young signal caller. As a result, the Tigers’ offense suffered at times.

As the 2024 season looms just over the horizon, and after a mixed review performance in the Clemson spring game, here are four areas that Cade Klubnik must improve upon if the Tigers are going to reclaim their ACC championship and make a push for the College Football Play-off for the first time since 2020.

Slow the game down

Often times, Klubnik has been plagued by rash decisions. The Clemson passing game as seen a decline in production during recent seasons, and Klubnik’s hesitancy to stay in the pocket long enough to go through his progressions exacerbated the issue in 2023. Sure, the Tigers have had major attrition at the wide receiver position, but there were talented options on the field. Cade should have a more steady stable of pass catchers at his disposal this year, but the key will be his willingness to hang in long enough for one of them to come open before deciding to abandon the pocket. If he can, then the passing game, and the Tigers’ offense, will be much improved.

Ball security

If there was another legitimate gripe regarding Cade Klubnik last season, it was his ability to hold onto the football. Several untimely fumbles proved detrimental in multiple key situations, including the early season loss at home to Florida State when a fumble derailed what appeared to be a sure scoring drive. It was not just the fumbles, but also interceptions. Going back to point number one, Cade’s rush to make plays led to errant throws and played into the hands of aggressive defenses. By slowing the game down, Klubnik should also improve his ball security. It is imperative.

Be confident

Nobody is doubting Cade Klubnik’s talent. He was a 5-star recruit out of Westlake High School in Austin, TX and recruited by most major programs in the country. Sometimes, for unknown reasons, players can deal with confidence issues and there were times in 2023 when Klubnik just looked unsure of himself on the field. Of course, he would never admit that. Nor should he. Cade said all of the right things, and never shied away from taking responsibility after crushing losses. Everyone could see he was giving it his all but seemed to lack confidence in his own abilities. Klubnik needs to trust himself, as his teammates trust him. It will go a long way to improving his on-field production.

Trust your teammates

Going back to the attrition Clemson has suffered at wide receiver the past several seasons, there were also times when Klubnik seemed more willing to keep the ball himself rather than get it to his teammates. This is more likely a want to put the team on his shoulders and make a play, but ultimately it wound up costing the Tigers. It all ties back into the first three points. If Cade trusts his teammates to make plays then it helps slow the game down for him while also adding ball security. And when one of his receivers makes a great catch, in turn it bolsters Cade’s confidence in himself.

There is no single issue that can be referenced that can pinpoint the reason for Cade Klubnik’s inconsistent play. The talent is there, and at times it manifests. As often as he has made head-scratching decisions, Cade has also made fantastic plays and won ballgames. Look no further than the bowl win against Kentucky when Klubnik led the decisive, game-winning drive. It is merely a matter of putting it all together.

If Cade does that, then look out for the Clemson Tigers in 2024.

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