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Dabo Swinney has interesting take on Clemson QB situation

Dabo Swinney on the sidelines

Sep 5, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney questions the side judge after a replay during the first quarter of the Chick-fil-A kickoff game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Clemson Tigers have a quarterback controversy? Head coach Dabo Swinney is not necessarily saying they don’t.

While DJ Uiagalelei opened the season as the starter, freshman Cade Klubnik impressed during garbage time of the team’s 41-10 season-opening victory over Georgia Tech. Klubnik ran a ten-play, 66-yard drive in the fourth quarter that left some wanting a glimpse of the freshman in a more competitive game environment.

Swinney appeared on “The Rich Eisen Show” Thursday and was asked about the state of the quarterback position. The coach left the door open to Klubnik eventually supplanting Uiagalelei, though he added that every position sees competition, not just quarterback.

“We’ve got three five-star quarterbacks in our room,” Swinney said. “DJ has earned the right to be the starter without question, but Cade has demonstrated that he can win for us based on what we’ve seen in practice, and then we finally got a chance to get a little bit of game experience. He’s certainly proven that he deserves the opportunity to play within the flow of the game or the season as we go.

“Nobody has a lifetime contract in college football. You’ve got to show up every week and you’ve got to go prove it and earn it, and I don’t think we’re any different than a lot of places out there.”

Uiagalelei struggled at times in 2021 and threw just nine touchdowns compared to ten interceptions. Swinney has defended him in spite of those numbers. If things do not improve, the coach will have no choice but to make a change.

Most coaches would call this a good problem to have, and Swinney is no different. He’s certainly being paid a lot of money to make these calls.


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