Summer Stock Report: Cade Klubnik leads QBs into the summer
Cade Klubnik says the summer time is about transformation.

Summer Stock Report: Cade Klubnik leads QBs into the summer

by - Senior Writer -

Within the next few weeks, the players will return to campus, the rest of the 2023 recruiting class will arrive and move in, and summer workouts will begin. Where does Clemson stand at each position?

Today, we start with the quarterbacks.

The post-spring depth chart looks like this, at least from what we gathered from talking to the coaches.

Starter: Cade Klubnik
Second string: Hunter Helms
Third string: Christopher Vizzina
Fourth string: Trent Pearman

Added to the mix after not really being able to participate this spring is transfer Paul Tyson. Where will Tyson fit in the above depth chart? It’s hard to say. If something happened to Klubnik, I have no doubt that Helms would be the guy, and then Vizzina would get the next shot.

Klubnik told us that he can’t wait to get the summer workouts started.

"I can’t wait to lead this offense and lead this team throughout the summer,” Klubnik said. "We were just talking as a team a second ago and Coach Swinney says ‘we’ll hit you up in August.’ First day of fall camp we want to see the best … I’m just excited to push guys to places they’ve never been before, in a good way. Just encourage guys and lead them. I’m just so excited for the guys we have coming back. Just going into the summer excited for skills and drills, excited to get to work.

"Summer is just really when a team transforms."

Summer workouts are when player leaders step to the front.

"I'd say the summer is a time for us to get to work. It's very player-led. Skills and drills we're having pretty much two to three practices a week just as players,” Klubnik said. “No coaches are out there so just a time for leaders to step up on the offense and the defense. I think that really makes the team because it's guys having to be pushed and push themselves for the first time ever so it's really good for the guys that haven't had a full summer yet."

Head coach Dabo Swinney says Helms has earned the job as backup.

“Hunter Helms has had his best spring,” Swinney said. “It’s been fun to watch him. He’s by far the best version of Hunter Helms we’ve seen. The biggest thing is he has gotten in better shape. He has changed his body. He is not a guy that is going to make a million plays with his legs but he is very smart. He understands the game and he knows the offense. But he has really changed his composition and that has really helped him. He has leaned up and he is moving better. He has done a great job. He is a guy that that you know you can depend on.”

Helms is a former walk-on who impressed with a two-touchdown performance at Georgia Tech as a true freshman in 2020. He enters 2023 having completed 14-of-25 passes for 135 yards and two scores in 48 snaps over five career games.

“He’s very, very confident,” Swinney said. “Really proud of him and what he’s done.”

Vizzina put together a stellar career at Briarwood Christian in Birmingham, Ala. He completed 561-of-865 passes for 7,220 yards and 59 touchdown passes in his career, and he also scored 29 rushing touchdowns, giving him 88 combined touchdowns rushing and passing. Vizzina hit on 161-of-251 passes (64.1 percent) as a senior, totaling 1,828 yards and 16 touchdowns while also rushing for 341 yards and 11 scores.

However, the coaches are hopeful that Vizzina can redshirt this season.

“We love this kid CV, man,” Swinney said. “Not only is he big, he can really, really run. He can make all the throws, and man, we’re blessed to have him. He’s only 17 years old. He’s a future star for us and a guy that’s really bought into our plan for him, especially having a young guy. And that’s rare to see a young guy to really kind of buy into that.

“We hope we can redshirt him if it all works out. Play him four games, get him some experience. But there’s a lot of factors that gotta go into that, what happens with (Cade) Klubnik and staying healthy and all that. But we really, really feel like he’s got a chance to be a great player here.”

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