Dabo Swinney Makes Unexpected Comment About Clemson’s QB Situation

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Is there a QB controversy at Clemson?

The Tigers opened the season with a 41-10 win over Georgia Tech, and starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw for 210 yards and a touchdown.

Will Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei lose the starting job to Cade Klubnik? (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

However, freshman Cade Klubnik coming in late and tossing for 49 yards and a touchdown on 4/6 passing apparently has some wondering whether or not a change might be coming.

Well, Swinney did nothing to kill speculation when he made it clear nobody in his program or the sport of football gets their position forever.

“We’ve got three five-star quarterbacks in our room. DJ has earned the right to be the starter without question, but Cade [Klubnik] has demonstrated that he can win for us based on what we have seen in practice and he finally got a little game experience. He certainly proved that he deserves the opportunity to play within the flow of the game or season as we go. So, nobody has a lifetime contract in college football. You gotta show up every week and prove it and earn it, and I don’t think we’re any different than a lot of places out there,” Swinney explained during a Thursday interview with Rich Eisen.

He further added Uiagalelei is a “very talented young man,” but it’s also a “blessing” that Klubnik has now cut his teeth on the field.

While there’s no question Uiagalelei is QB1 right now for the Tigers, it’s not hard to understand why there’s some speculating Klubnik should get his shot.

Despite entering the program with insane expectations, Uiagalelei hasn’t come close to living up to expectations.

In 2021, Uiagalelei threw for 2,246 yards, nine touchdowns, 10 interceptions and completed only 55.6% of his passes.

Does Clemson have a QB controversy? (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

That’s an absolutely abysmal stat line, and he hardly looked like a star throwing for 210 yards and a touchdown against Georgia Tech.

Meanwhile, Cade Klubnik looked outstanding during his time in the game, was a major recruit coming out of high school and there just seems to be a lot of energy around him.

The fact Swinney now stated to the fans nobody gets a lifetime contract to play college football certainly seems to imply all options are on the table if Uiagalelei struggles.

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney praises freshman QB Cade Klubnik. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

While it might not be an open QB controversy, it’s clear Swinney will make a change if he feels like he has to. Judging from what fans saw in 2021 from Uiagalelei, it’s definitely in the realm of possibilities he gets pulled if the Tigers stumble.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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