Photo by Via Cade Klubnik
Notre Dame Football Recruiting

2022 Texas QB Cade Klubnik Impressed with Notre Dame OC Tommy Rees

July 8, 2020

Notre Dame and many other schools have felt the impact of Covid-19 on the recruiting trail in many ways over the last four months. 

Perhaps the most interesting position to watch from a distance has been the 2022 quarterback class.

Quarterbacks have tended to make early commitments, but only one top 50 signal-caller has made a commitment to this point in the 2022 recruiting class. 

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Tommy Rees hasn't offered a quarterback, but he's been in contact with more than a few. 

2022 Westlake (Texas) quarterback Cade Klubnik‍ has had multiple conversations with Rees and has come away impressed. 

"He was a really cool guy," Klubnik told Irish Sports Daily. "I really like him as a person. He seems like a really good coach and we've talked a lot of ball in the last couple of weeks."

Part of the delay in commitments and offers has been the lack of camps. Coaches haven't been able to see the 2022 class throw in person and that's a significant deal for the position. 

Rees has adapted and has challenged the mental side of Klubnik during their conversations.

"He's been kind of quizzing me," explained Klubnik. "He's been teaching me stuff and seeing how good I can remember it and learn it. Coach Rees has been testing how well I know the game and catch onto the offense.

"A few others have as well because being a quarterback, you really have to do more than throw the football. Being able to know the game and being smart is a huge factor."

The mental tests might be a bigger deal for the 6-foot,2, 180-pounder than other quarterbacks as he started just five games as a sophomore. 

Klubnik played behind Kirkland Michaux, who threw for seven touchdowns in the State semifinal before leading Westlake to the State Title. 

And as you can imagine, Klubnik is more than excited to take over as the full-time starter in 2020.

"I'm really excited," said Klubnik. "I started five games last year. I've been working my butt off since the day we won State last year. 

"I think other schools are excited, too. I haven't really done a whole lot yet. I haven't shown a whole lot about me on the field yet, so it will be fun to take full control and go play." 

Heading into his first year as the starter, the Texas native doesn't feel pressure. Klubnik threw for 680 yards and eight touchdowns last year, so while he might not be the most experienced quarterback, he's been through the fire. 

"I never got nervous or pressured about anything, especially in football," Klubnik stated. "I don't ever feel pressure or nerves going into a huge game. I honestly feel relaxed. It's still football, so I'm going in and playing my game and have fun." 

Now, he might not feel nervous or pressure heading into the season, but Westlake fans will expect a lot from Klubnik as there is a long lineage of quarterbacks from the school. 

"I don't think there is pressure, but I think there are huge shoes to fill," Klubnik explained. "You have Sam Ehlinger, Nick Foles, Drew Brees and Tanner Price - it just goes on and on. It's such an honor to wear the same helmet as they did and to have that connection with them. It's a huge blessing. 

"It makes the game even more fun to say I play for the same school as those guys. I think there is less pressure because it gives you a little more confidence." 

Despite starting only five games, Klubnik holds an impressive offer list. Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, LSU, Miami, NC State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, SMU, TCU, Texas State, Virginia Tech and Washington State have already offered with more coming soon. 

"I wasn't the full-time starter last year, but I think I got a really good highlight reel together," said Klubnik. "I didn't throw for 4,000 yards last year, but I had a 77 percent completion rate and I scored 3/4 of the time I stepped on the field. 

"If you think about how many times I got reps and how I did in those reps, I think it shows a lot about me. I'm a little bit surprised because I didn't start the whole season, but at the same time, coaches see I took advantage of how many reps I got."

That mindset led to success and has put Klubnik into the position he's currently in on the recruiting trail. 

"I wasn't trying to impress coaches, but rather to take advantage," Klubnik stated. "I didn't just try to score, but I wanted to take advantage of every drive and do the best I could. Every single drive was the game-winning drive for me. I think it made me better and more prepared for this season." 

When it comes to his recruitment, Klubnik isn't in a rush and is completely open to all the programs recruiting him.

"I wouldn't say schools are pushing me at this point," Klubnike said. "I'm talking to a few more schools than others right now. I don't have a top five at all. I'm totally open to anything because it's still so early. I haven't even started a full season yet." 

If Notre Dame offers, it could be a game-changer for Klubnik as he's well-aware of the history and tradition in South Bend.

"It'd be huge," said Klubnik. "Notre Dame is one of the most successful college football programs ever. That'd be a huge deal to me. Notre Dame is a very, very solid football team with great coaches and a great history. It'd be an honor." 

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