CLEMSON, S.C. — Dabo Swinney says Cade Klubnik has “Purple Jersey Syndrome.”
What is Purple Jersey Syndrome, exactly? It is when a Clemson quarterback gets used to the idea of never being sacked in practice. The result is the quarterback hangs on to the football a little too long for the head coach’s liking, which can lead to a false sense of timing and pocket presence.
Clemson quarterbacks wear purple jerseys during practices, scrimmages and in the Spring Game so the defense knows not to try and tackle them.
What is the cure for Purple Jersey Syndrome?
“I told him that I am going to let (the defense) loose a couple of times. He will get a little sense of urgency when Myles Murphy smashes him a couple of times,” Swinney jokingly said following the Tigers’ Spring Game on April 9.
Joking aside, Swinney has been very pleased with what he saw from Klubnik in his first spring.
The former five-star quarterback enrolled at Clemson in January. Coming out of high school, Klubnik was rated as the nation’s top quarterback after he led Westlake High School to three consecutive state championships, including back-to-back undefeated seasons the last two years.
“He is just going to grow,” Swinney said. “He is one of the most self-driven kids that you are ever going to be around. He just keeps getting better and he will keep on learning.”
Klubnik finished the spring by completing 15-of-23 passes for 106 yards, including a seven-yard touchdown pass to Hamp Greene. But he has to get the ball out of his hands faster.
“He is so fast, and he is used to being able to run away from everybody. But you don’t run away from Myles Murphy. You don’t run away from Xavier Thomas and people like that,” Swinney said. “So, that is an adjustment for him.
“But he made some great plays. He made some good timing throws. He placed the ball well down here in the red zone. That was a great little throw to Hamp. He did a really good job.”