Garrett Riley’s Arrival ‘Fresh Start’ for Clemson Program

Cade Klubnik Chris Vizzina Garrett Riley Jason Priester All Clemson

CLEMSON, S.C.- One of the biggest beneficiaries of Clemson’s new offense just might be Cade Klubnik.

After the Tigers’ first spring practice, Klubnik raved about his excitement regarding Riley and what’s being installed on the offensive side of the ball. Klubnik went as far as saying it felt kind of like a reset for the entire program.

“Super excited about coach Riley,” Klubnik said. “Just super excited for what he’s gonna bring and what he already has brung. Just kind of a fresh start for this offense and just a fresh start for this program.”

Prior to coming to Clemson, Klubnik helped guide his Austin-Westlake high school team in Texas to three consecutive state titles, and the rising sophomore likens Riley’s offense to the high-powered system he was a part of in high school. Klubnik loves the simplicity, which he thinks will ultimately lead to better efficiency.

“I love the offense,” Klubnik said. “It’s efficient, and it’s productive. Reminds me a lot about my high school offense. Less plays. Just doing less and doing it better. And I’m loving it. And I’m loving the style and just the freedom in the offense.”

Riley, who was the Broyles Award winner last year, comes to Clemson after his offense helped lead the Horned Frogs to the national title game. Prior to that, he spent two years at SMU. The Mustangs finished in the Top 15 in total offense in both seasons.

The Tigers are hoping that Riley can bring some of that success to Clemson, and while it is still very early on in spring practice, Klubnik very much likes what is being done so far.

“We went into a game last year with, like, 80 plays in the in the play call sheet, we’re going with like 30 now,” Klubnik said. “So just being able to run less plays and getting really, really good at it. He’s even said it doesn’t matter if they know what the play is, we’re still gonna be able to beat them at it. So just being really, really good at what we’re doing.”

“We had 15 plays today in our install, and we ran the same 15 plays for two hours. You’re just getting really good at doing the same play in a bunch of different ways. It’s just reps and reps and reps. It’s just hard to defend because you’re running the same thing out of different personnel, different formations, and it’s just fun.”

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