ESPN names Cade Klubnik as an 'up-and-comer' in 2023 Heisman Trophy race
USC’s Caleb Williams may have walked away with the Heisman this year, but he faces even stiffer competition next year on the road to defending his crown.
One player who could give Williams a run for his money is none other than Clemson’s Cade Klubnik, according to ESPN’s Top Heisman Trophy contenders for 2023 list.
Here’s some analysis on Klubnik’s case from ESPN’s Bill Connelly:
He was the No. 1 dual-threat QB in the class of 2022, and when, after weeks of speculation and expectation, he took over for the struggling DJ Uiagalelei in the ACC championship, he proceeded to obliterate North Carolina’s defense, going 20-for-24 for 279 yards and a touchdown. He has all the tools, he has exciting young receivers (Antonio Williams, Beaux Collins, Cole Turner) and he has a workhorse back next to him in Will Shipley. No one would be surprised if he turned himself into a front-runner rather quickly
Klubnik had a stellar year, capping off a winning season by leading Clemson to its seventh ACC Championship in eight years. During the championship, Klubnik threw for 279 yards and one TD, while he rushed for 30 yards on 7 carries and another score in Clemson’s dominating 39-10 victory over North Carolina.
A former 5-star recruit, Klubnik was the No. 1 overall QB in the country in the class of 2022. After quarterback DJ Uiagalelei struggled early in the season in several different games, Klubnik assumed the starting position. The true-freshman grabbed the reigns, and steered the Tigers to an 11-2 record on the season.
Klubnik and the Tigers will face Tennessee in the Orange Bowl later this month.